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Sep 18, 2012 06:06 AM

Italian Dinner--Menu Help

I'd appreciate any suggestions to complete this menu. It will be a casual dinner with guests I don't know well. Salad? Appetizers? Dessert?

Roasted tomatoes and mozzarella
Roasted peppers
Roasted mushrroms with garlic and capers
Grilled bread

Homemade pasta with cheese and pepper sauce
Homemade pasta with lamb ragu

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  1. It looks like you've got appetizers covered with the roasted vegetables and olives, yes? Your pastas look great - maybe just add a simple Caesar salad and/or some sauteed spinach (I would be more creative, but since you don't know them well you might not want to make anything with unusual ingredients). Then something universally adored like tiramisu for dessert. Sounds like a great meal!

    3 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      I was thinking that I need a salad. Do you think I'm serving too much cheese if I serve a Caesar salad?

      1. re: DaisyM

        I think a simple green salad with a sharp vinaigrette would be good to cut through the richness of this meal. For dessert, maybe a fruit tart?

        1. re: DaisyM

          I don't think of Caesar salad as being heavy on the cheese, but if you prefer not to add more cheese to the meal I'd follow Pia's suggestion of a green salad with a nice tart vinaigrette.

      2. I assume this dinner is happening soon?? If so, I'd skip the roasted tomatoes and mozz. In favour of a Caprese Salad. Take advantage of nice fresh, in season tomatoes while you still can.

        Can you do espresso?? If so, espresso and biscotti after dinner is always fantastic.


        1. Coming from a family where many folks don't like lamb (I love lamb) I would be concerned about serving lamb to people I don't know. Also, are you serving two pastas because there are vegetarians coming?

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123

            We were in Italy recently and took a pasta making class. Those are our two favorite sauces that we learned. They are both terrific, but maybe you are right that lamb isn't universally loved.

          2. I would go with a salad...maybe some roasted asparagus with shaved parmigianno

            Some other appetizers or antipasti i would consider would be;

            Dry Sausage
            Seafood Salad......Grilled or Sauteed Shrimp, Calamari or Pulpo alone or combined.


            Butter Cookies

            1. I'm with the salad people. Field greens with great extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. AFTER the pasta, of course, not with. Caesar salad is not even remotely Italian.

              Not sure about dessert, but some fresh fruit, a couple of flavors of gelato, one cream one fruit, for example, plus some really good biscotti, and a nice moscato d'Asti cover most exigencies.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mbfant

                "Caesar salad is not even remotely Italian." Actually, it is "Remotely Italian." It was invented by an Italian American while working at his restaurant in Tijuana. Not sure if it was an Italian restaurant though.


                1. re: Davwud

                  I've been to the restaurant. It's Mexican.

                  1. re: perk

                    Ahhh. I couldn't find anything that said one way or the other.

                    But was it in 1924??