Italian wedding soup--what else for dinner party?
A friend of mine is making Italian wedding soup for a dinner party this weekend (8 people). I don't think there will be pasta in his version.
The rest of us need to bring other items....what would go well to make this a meal?
Big salad with bread and cheeses?
Dessert of course
I'm assuming the soup is a soup course, but it's also a bit filling. Perhaps a good course to follow would be two nicely roasted or grilled chickens with lemon, garlic, and Italian herbs. Serve with some roasted tomatoes and a garlicky, spicy broccoli rabe on the side. I like the fruit crostata idea.
Is the wedding soup the main course? Most versions in my family have acini de pepe (pasta shaped like tiny BBs or literally, peppercorn shaped) along with the meatballs in it.
If the soup is the main course, you can go heavy with the dessert. Ricotta pie is wonderful. Instead of a salad with cheese, maybe a salad course and a cheese course? Various breads and crackers including grissini, etc?
We never heard of Italian wedding soup until we moved to the East Coast more than 40 years ago. My wife is of Italian heritage. We have never had wedding soup with pasta as an ingredient in the Philly area.
Lasagne (plural) can be prepared both with meat and without out. That way the vegetarians and vegans will not be left out.
I like the idea of antipasti with prosciutto, Genoa salami, soppressata, capocollo, aged provolone, chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano, olives, peperoncini, eccetera (Italian spelling).
Cheesecake made with ricotta would be a nice touch for 'La tavola di dolce.'
A very simple and always impressive dessert is a fruit crostata--berries being by favorite, excluding strawberries. Make a nice butter crust, roll it out into a rough circle, pile sweetened fruit in the center, fold up edges in a rustic fashion, leaving center uncovered. Dot fruit with butter and bake until golden.
We often start a dinner party with an antipasto platter--focaccia, salami, proscuitto, roasted peppers, roasted asparagus, a couple cheeses, olives etc. We have had more than one guest assume that was the main event and had a hard time eating the main course. Making a good one for 8 people can be fairly costly if you go with meats, but a veg one can also be great--just make it springy.