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Simple Italian dinner - what to make for dessert?

alanbarnes Dec 21, 2009 07:25 PM

So we're having a few friends over for dinner on Wednesday. Antipasti (prosciutto, sopressata, roasted red peppers, olives, and home-marinated artichoke hearts and ciliegine), lasagna (red sauce with homemade sausage, spinach, and bechamel), and a big green salad. Prosecco, a Chianti Riserva, and some Passito de Pantelleria to serve with dessert.

Which brings up the question of dessert. Inspiration has failed to strike. I'm thinking relatively light, without dairy as a main ingredient. Preferably something that isn't too labor-intensive and that doesn't require special equipment (no, I don't have a pandoro mold).

Thanks in advance to any Hounds who care to ride to the rescue...

  1. alanbarnes Dec 23, 2009 11:05 AM

    Over on the Wine board, Maria Lorraine referred to Passito de Pantelleria with panforte as "amazing -- mindblowing, actually ... an eyes-roll-back-into-your-head-in-ecstasy like of pairing." Took me a while to desteam the monitor.

    Anyway, some hounds recommended this recipe: http://cookalmostanything.blogspot.co...
    So that's what's for dessert. Thanks again for the suggestions, everyone.

    1. carswell Dec 22, 2009 05:34 PM

      A dry almond cake with a light tangerine or clementine glaze.

      1. alanbarnes Dec 22, 2009 05:17 PM

        Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody!

        I'm leaning toward poached pairs and almond biscotti. Never thought of pears as being particularly Italian, but it turns out that Spain and Italy are Europe's largest producers. Learn something every day.

        Anyway, that leads to the next question - given that we're pouring the Passito de Pantelleria, what wine (if any) should the pears be poached in? That seemed like a more of a question for the Wine board, so I posted it there, and would appreciate your input. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/675778#

        1 Reply
        1. re: alanbarnes
          goodhealthgourmet Dec 22, 2009 06:04 PM

          i spaced on the fact that you're serving such a sweet dessert wine. instead of worrying about a clash of grapes, i have an idea for something different that might work really well. how about poaching the pears in a sweetened decaf coffee or espresso syrup? served with a dark chocolate sauce, the whole profile would be a lovely counterbalance to the sweet, fruity wine.

        2. kattyeyes Dec 21, 2009 11:22 PM

          Kristin King's incredible almond bars. Both my mom and I have made them several times and they are SO SIMPLE to make, it's dangerous.

          I also notice on her page, she recently posted an Italian almond cookie recipe. You can't go wrong with an almond-y recommendation from Kris, from my experience thus far.

          Have a great time--color me jealous of that menu. Yum!

          1. enbell Dec 21, 2009 09:31 PM

            Baked peaches or pears with or without a brandy sauce, maybe over a sponge cake
            Chocolate dipped pieces of fruit
            Shortbread or biscotti

            1. ipsedixit Dec 21, 2009 08:09 PM

              Poached pear?

              Poach them in some strong espresso, then top with some nutmeg and serve with dark chocolate bark.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit
                saraf Dec 21, 2009 08:49 PM

                Definately almond biscotti. They will pair nicely with your Pantelleria. You could even cheat and buy them. Happy Holidays!

              2. goodhealthgourmet Dec 21, 2009 08:02 PM

                - granita or sorbet served with amaretti cookies, pignoli cookies, biscotti, or pizzelle
                - wine-poached pears with chocolate sauce
                - Crostata/Torte with nuts and winter fruit

                1. visciole Dec 21, 2009 07:34 PM

                  Oops, missed the part about the Passito de Pantelleria. I wonder if cantucci would be okay with it? Oh what the heck, cantucci are good with everything!

                  1. visciole Dec 21, 2009 07:32 PM

                    Someone else's post on Italian cookies is on my mind, so..... Cantucci with Vin Santo to dip them into, and some really nice fresh fruit. Maybe Comice pears?

                    BTW your menu is making me hungry. Better go to sleep :)

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