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May 26, 2013 04:22 PM

Italian main dish for 20-30 6th graders. Not pasta.

Every year the 6th graders have an ancient civilizations celebration. It is a day devoted to the ancient cultures they studied all year - Rome, Greece, India, China, and the Mediterranean. They have entertainment - belly dancers, Chinese dancers etc. Part of the celebration is a feast.

I'm responsible for bringing an Italian main dish to serve 20-30. I'm betting that the other parents bringing Italian are bringing pasta so I don't want to do pasta.

I need ideas for a dish that doesn't require keeping warm. I will drop it off at 11 and the kids will eat at approx 11:30. I have the morning to cook.


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  1. A panzanella. You can add whatever you want to it. I like to add bacon/prosciutto to something like this but you can vary it a lot:

    The short cut version, if you live near a Costco, is to buy their marinated bocconcini. Drain the bocconcini for the salad and add balsamic vinaigrette to the oil. You can also get the bread and tomatoes there, too.

    If you want to add extra flavor, toss the bread cubes into bacon fat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowser

      They have a category for salads already so I don't think the panzanella will work for this but I am going to book mark that recipe because it looks really good.

    2. How about a frittata? You can be as adventurous as you like...add ingredients like sun dried tomatoes, sautéed zucchini, roasted red peppers, and fresh basil. i well, and. Is perfect served at room temp.

      3 Replies
      1. re: critter101

        Oops, sorry, that was supposed to say it travels well and is perfect served at room temp.

        1. re: critter101

          This is something I'm considering. I just need to figure out how many to make and how much time to allow for each frittata.

          1. re: suburban_mom

            if you want to go this route, will be there be tons of other food? do lots of kids go for this sort of thing?

            i make an "egg-bake-thing" most weeks for myself, with 12 eggs in a 9x13 pan. you can easily do these in disposable pans, so make 4 or 5 pans. mine bake in about 30-40 mins. i prefer cooking them at 300, and they taste even better the next day.

        2. What about something like making little "personal pizzas" using portobello mushrooms instead of pizza crust? I am not experienced w/6th-grade palates re: mushrooms, but you could certainly mix up the toppings (some plain, some w/meat/olives/veg) to provide some variety. I think they would travel well and taste good at room temp; also not tricky to do in large batches. They're also a snap to prepare; put the mushrooms in the oven at 375 for about 5 minutes, then add your toppings (sauce, cheese, etc.) and bake for another 15-20 minutes until done.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pickledtink

            My daughter specifically requested I make something without mushrooms because she doesn't like them. Thanks for your suggestion though.

          2. Fried eggplant. Buy baby eggplants and peel them and slice lengthwise into thin strips. Boil some salted water. When water is boiling, add strips, turn off water and cover. Keep in hot water for 1/2 hr.
            Meanwhile, beat a few eggs with some milk. Keep some flour on the side. Dip in egg, then flour, then fry in shallow olive oil. So good!!

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