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May 11, 2011 11:45 AM

How to serve pasta as finger food, and Nepali Italian finger foods.

Hi all,

I'm going to be "catering" an engagement party for my best friend. She is Italian and her fiance is Nepali. I would like the food to be mostly finger foods that represents both of their culinary cultures in various ways.

My first question: Is there a way to serve pasta as a finger food? I'd like to serve some pasta of some sort (thinking like a Nepali spiced carbonara/alfredo...or maybe tomato based), but I have no idea how to serve it in a finger food setting. Any suggestions?

Finally, if anyone has some ideas for Nepali/Italian fusion type dishes I'd appreciate any ideas. This is what I have floating around in my head so far:

Edit: Added some new ideas:
chicken chili tacos with momo sauce. (
)Nepali spiced italian meatballs...on a stick or on bread?
Tandoori wings?
Bruschetta "carpaccio". rare Filet/Arugula/Parm/Caper/Lemon Juice/EVOO, tomato cilantro,
Fig ricotta honey balls wrapped in prosciutto.
Cucumber/cilantro/tomato/evoo "caprese"
meat on a stick
mini potato skins, alu dum style:
curry puff pastry
Nepali lentil "hummus"

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  1. Maybe serve the pasta in some parmesan crisp cups?

    3 Replies
    1. re: joonjoon

      I love fricos, but I don't know if I'd put pasta in them, might be too messy, esp if the pasta is sauced.

      Is your friend Italian from Italy or from America? Just curious, as I'm sure that would be two different tastes entirely.

      Back to the pasta conundrum: you could do a baked mostaccioli or ziti, that was packed with a white sauce and cheese, spinach, other goodies, and then refrigerate until very well chilled. Then cut into small bite sized squares that people could pick up and eat, but it has to hold together. Or scrap the pasta and do a few large frittatas? They are very easy to make in large quantities, (think 9x13" pan) and again, let set and cool, then cut into cubes for finger food.

      Sorry, I don't know anything Nepalese, so I'll let other CHers fill in there.

      1. re: Phurstluv

        My friend is american italian but has spent a lot of time in italy and loves real italian food. Unfortunately I'm not as well versed in italian fare....

        With your baked ziti idea - would it be served cold? I can't imagine it holding together after being heated. But maybe I can do little mini lasagna cubes served on toothpicks?

        I've never made a frittata but that sounds like a great idea.too.

        1. re: joonjoon

          Yes, either cold or room temp. And lasagne cubes would work too. I think as along as it holds together, room temp is best, to catch all of the flavors. Yes, I'd do toothpicks just to make it easier for guests to pick up.

          Frittatas are wicked easy, like an omelet you don't flip, you put it under the broiler to finish cooking the top.

    2. I like Phurstluv's fritatta idea, filled w/ pasta. If you're willing to deep fry/pan fry, you could fry ravioli. Stealing an idea from Top Chef, you could freeze an egg yolk, use it to stuff in ravioli and fry--serve with Nepali sauce. You could also refrigerate pasta in muffin cups until firm (like mac and cheese idea), bread and fry. Use the mint chutney as a dip?

      What about just doing arancini, instead of pasta? That's great finger food and easy to doctor up with different fillings.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        Thanks chowser, the freezing of egg yolk sounds like way too much work! lol.

        Love the arancini idea!! It would be great filled with some kind of italian/nepalese curry meat sauce.

      2. there's a restaurant in Tampa (which started as Bella Bella, then morphed into Bella Trattoria, and now is apparently Bella's Italian Cafe) that USED to serve homemade farfalle pasta that was cooked and then deep fried, sprinkled with grated parmigiano, and served with a side of red sauce for dipping.

        I swear we used to fight over it, then just give up and order a second plate.

        Alas, it doesn't seem to be on the menu any more.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          That sounds delicious...but how was it served? Can it be served finger food style?

          1. re: joonjoon

            Yep -- came on a big plate with the bowl of red sauce in the middle.

            Absolutely finger food, as it ends up about the same texture as a thick-cut chip -- a little bit greasy (but not bad) and a crunchy texture. Good stuff. Still don't know why I've never actually made it myself, as I've thought about it for parties a jillion times (probably because I deep-fry about 3 times a year.)

            If you did it with some of those fancy multi-colored shapes, it'd look like a million bucks, too.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Deep-fried pasta was the first thing that came to my mind too. JO has a recipe: (well that's not the recipe but you can decide if you like the look of it!)

              1. re: gembellina

                Nope, that's not how it looked at all.

                Looked more like this (this is a sweet version, but closer to the idea)


          2. re: sunshine842

            Bennigan's YEARS AGO used to serve the same thing! Loved it!

            1. re: jbsiegel

              well, it had the same name, anyway...the stuff this little place in Tampa made was manna. The stuff at Bennigan's was good, but it wasn't qualified to wipe the bowl of dipping sauce of the other place (which wasn't all that much more expensive than Bennigan's, to my college budget's delight)

          3. How many people are you cooking for?

            Spiced meatball - I would prefer without bread
            Definitely meat on a stick

            Tortellini drizzled with cilantro pesto in skewers (or served with toothpicks). I've served the regular caprese in toothpick form (ovolini, grape tomatoes, both cut in half, & basil) & it was well received.

            Samosas (always a hit, you can use wonton wrappers for ease); I love the Deep brand mini frozen ones found in the Indian grocery stores.

            Something along the lines of naanizza.


            2 Replies
            1. re: ceekskat

              There's going to be about 20 people..

              I love the samosa idea - I think I'm going to do a samosa with an italian sausage murphy filling (potatoes & cherry peppers). Looks like a samosa on the outside, tastes like sausage & peppers on the inside!

              Love the tortellini with cilantro pesto idea!!

              Naanizza? Is that like a naan pizza? Brilliant.

              1. re: joonjoon

                LOVE the Italian samosa idea!! Winner!!

            2. What about doing a small pasta, and serving it in those japanese soup spoons. I went to a party and they did risotto that way and I thought it was very clever. Good luck sounds delicious.