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Italian main dish that holds well

My Italian class is having a potluck luncheon at an adult ed place where we'll have class first and then eat. I've volunteered to bring a main course. My fall back will be lasagna w/ home made noodles and bechamel but I'd love to do something else. I have a thermal container for a 9x13 pyrex container w/ heatable gel pack so I can keep it somewhat warm but most dishes I'm thinking of don't hold well. I also have a crockpot. I would love to do sweet potato gnocchi w/ pancetta in a brown butter sage sauce but think that'll get gummy over a couple of hours (at least). I've read that pizza rustica is good served room temperature but have only had it hot. Anyone have ideas? I like to cook/bake but it's so busy this time of year that the most time I'd want to spend is about the time it takes to make lasagna from scratch, if that helps.

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  1. Chowser, I'd go for the pizza rustica. It holds flavor well (better, even) at room temp. I always worry about anything other lasagna as a pasta option, re: the textural issue.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef

      Yeah, I think pasta, other than lasagna is definitely out. I'm leaning towards Pizza Rustica. Making the dough the night before, baking morning of and letting it come somewhat to room temp but it might be warm.

    2. Vitello Tonnato or Seafood Salad ?

      4 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        Thanks--great suggestions but someone else grabbed the seafood option and I don't like to use veal.

        1. re: chowser

          You could easily substitute a thin sliced pork loin....or pounded pork tenderloins.....in place of the veal.

            1. re: fourunder

              Oddly enough, someone claimed pork loin. It's going to be an interesting potluck.

        2. I have some suggestions below. The sausage recipes would work well w your crockpot, the Eggplant Parm in your Pyrex carry case and the others could be served at room temperature and would make a lovely main course w a salad. I wish I could come to your party!!! Enjoy

          Lidia Bastianich’s Sausage & Peppers (serve alone or, w crostini)

          http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/de...

          or something similar by Mario Batalli:

          http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sp...

          Midway down this page, you’ll find a beautiful Eggplant Parmesan from Marcella Hazan:

          http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/200...

          Or this Soft Chickpea Focaccia from Marcella Hazan

          http://cookincanuck.blogspot.com/2009...

          Or another great one by Marcella, Artichoke Pie (great at room temp) – scroll down when you get to this website:

          http://blog.meerafreeman.com.au/categ...

          Or, another favorite, this beautiful and tasty Rainbow Chard Torte by Marcella. Also great at room temp:

          http://www.spinachtiger.com/SpinachTi...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll have to make them for dinners. That rainbow chard looks great--definitely a keeper recipe. I love eggplant parm but someone did it at the last gathering with eggplants and tomatoes he grew in his own garden so anything I'd do now would pale in comparison. People have already taken similar dishes. Next time I'm sticking with pane and dolce because those are what I like best!

          2. In my house, Pizza Rustica is only ever served room temperature. I don't think I have ever eaten it hot, but I have to say that I've eaten it straight out of the refrigerator. However, it is a dish more associated with Easter than Christmas. Why don't you make something like struffoli, which is a dessert that you can eat as long as a week after making it!

            1. "Italian main dish that holds well"

              A decade or so ago I would have immediately said Fabio.

              But now I find a good lasagna with homemade ethereal noodles far more appealing. I think you might want to reconsider that lasagna - but with spinach, roasted butternut squash and mushrooms (and your bechamel) I made it a while back over a course of a few days and it was quite good (I got the recipe from a recipe in "The Flexitarian Table" - which you could scoop up from the library. It holds very well, is really really nice to have in the season of meat and is so pretty. You can even make it ahead then reheat it with no ill effect.

              Have a lovely time at the party.