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Oct 8, 2008 12:07 PM

Italian dinner menu: need sides ideas

Hi all: I am making pasta bolognase for a few people on saturday night. I am going to have bread, caprese salad, tapenade- all pre meal with drinks.

What would go well with the pasta? I was thinking of roasted asparagus or another veggie. All ideas appreciated.

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      1. re: LaLa

        Spinach good. Escarole or bietina (if you can get it) better.

        1. re: chicgail

          I like the escarole idea. Wilted with olive oil, garlic and chopped olives. Top with toasted pine nuts. Lots of texture and contrast.

          1. re: JungMann

            Greens of all sorts would be excellent. Another suggestion would be beet greens- just a few days ago I did a batch sauteed with baby spinach, sliced shallots, some diced pimento from the garden (but red bell would do as well) and a splash of balsemic vinegar. You just want some sweetness to counteract the bitterness. It was amazing. Then I made some roasted potatoes, 1/2" dice, the next day and added them to the greens and it sent the dish right over the edge- so hearty and satisfying.

      2. My fav italian side - roasted zuchinni with pesto and mozzarella... yum!

        1. broccoli raab with garlic and red pepper flakes

          roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta or bacon

          I had to spell check raab and brussels sprouts.

          1. my favorite: calliflour sauted in olive oil. head EVVO, add sliced garlic, add cut up cauliflour. I usually add some water to help it cook. You want to add salt and pepper at some point. I add salt at beginning and pepper at the end. It should be well brown. I think I pick this one up on Lidia's family table and it is always hit at my house even with the kids.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Soup

              Actually that reminds me of a new cauliflower dish I've encountered: simply roasted with olive oil and garlic. When tender and browned, toss with grated parmesan and romano. The roasting lends the cauliflower a surprising nuttiness that combined with the firmness of the cauliflower would foil well against pasta.

            2. With pasta : a plain, simple green salad with a light dressing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maximilien

                A salad would be my first choice too, with a variety of greens ..with a red wine vinaigrette. Especially if you're serving the meat from the sauce along with the macaroni. Of course the salad would be served after the macaroni.