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What dessert would you serve after this pasta?

I'm making tagliatelle with braised veal ragu for company. It's a very hearty dish. Can't figure out what type of dessert would be good to serve after such a filling meal. Any ideas?

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  1. Panna cotta with berries? Or a nice sorbet or parfait?

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood

      Grilled pineapples with brown sugar and chaat masala or tajin spice, served with homemade vanilla ice cream

    2. i would also suggest sorbet. I remember having a scoop of espresso sorbet and scoop of lime sorbet after a v. rich Italian meal and it was the perfect finish.

      1. I love serving sorbet after an Italian meal. I often grill some fruit to put on top and drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze.

        1. In the winter, a favorite dessert at my house is pears poached in red wine. I peel them, core with a melon baller, and cut the bottom so they'll sit flat.

          Sit them carefully in a saucepan to which you've added about an inch of red wine, a spoonful or two of honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon if you wish. Let simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, or til you can easily pierce the pears with a fork or the tip of a knife.

          Stand them on a plate or in a shallow bowl, and spoon a little of the poaching liquid over the top.

          They come out absolutely beautiful --- they fade from the pale yellow near the stem to a blushing red at the bottom.

          Warm, sweet (but not too sweet) and light. If you're feeling decadent, a small spoonful of creme fraiche will do.

          (ETA better cooking instructions)

          1. I would do poached pears or a blood orange olive oil cake with blood orange compote.

            1. Pavlova! Saw it on Martha Stewart's baking show yesterday. What about with segmented oranges and grapefruits on top?
              (The tagliatelle sounds delicious, BTW)

              1. My choice would be something crisp and lemony. A lemon shortbread with maybe some vanilla ice cream. Or a lemon curd tart in a shortbread shell.

                6 Replies
                1. re: rainey

                  I was thinking lemony as well- i just saw this for blood orange brown butter bars which would be another light citrusy dessert

                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    Oh how pretty!

                    I'm saving that one for sure especially since I have a blood orange tree. I also just love how much flavor browning butter adds. Thanks so much for that link!

                    1. re: rainey

                      I also love the rectangular fluted edge she used- but the last thing i need is another baking pan!

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        I have a long pan like that but did you read the recipe? It makes a 9"x13" pan -- which is good since it uses 1 dozen eggs + 4 yolks and half a pound of butter! Too much for my single tart pan!

                        But I'm thinking what doesn't fit in any size pan you have could go in individual tartlet pans. More of the lovely fluted edges. ;> And whatever excess curd there may be can just be spread on biscuits or scones.

                    2. Wow, really great suggestions here! I love the idea of something lemony after a big meal but the poached pears and/or sorbet sounds lovely as well. Hmmmm, lots to think about!

                      1. yes, lemony something...lemon curd tart as suggested by rainey sounds wonderful. panna cotta with strawberry balsamic vinegar from Mario Batali sounds good too.

                          1. The Tarocco variety of blood orange (as opposed to the more acid Moro variety) should be around now, or soon. Same for the Sky Valley heirloom navels, which have a short span of availability at Trader Joe's. Either would be wonderful as sorbet, but I especially like to peel, slice into thin discs, fan in a circle on a plate. Then top with a scoop of honey-sweetened mascarpone and drizzle with pomegranate molasses/syrup/glaze. It's refreshing and gorgeous.

                            1. About thirty years ago, I used to serve this super easy dessert:

                              One scoop of premium vanilla ice cream, one scoop of raspberry sorbet, and a topping of kiwi slices and raspberries.

                              Now, from today's perspective I don't know if it would still be as delicious as it was then, but it is simple and colorful.

                              Maybe a small wafer cookie could be added.

                              1. This might not be a dessert as such, but I enjoy first some sliced raw fennel, maybe some cheese ( a young pecorino or shards of good parmigiano-reggiano) , then fresh fruit--a simple berry, orange, pear salad with lemon juice/sugar or a bowl of ripe, fresh whole fruits of the season--and a little later some smallish almond biscotti or the Sicilian sesame biscotti called "regina" to dunk in a glass of sweet wine (vin santo, malvasia, moscato passito, or an amaro.

                                1. Limoncello cake served atop raspberry coulis.

                                  1. Something light and lemony, perhaps a lemon mousse with fresh berries?

                                    1. Citrus flavoured sorbet sounds great after the richness of the ragu.

                                      1. Very Italian would be good quality lemon sorbet with a few berries and a splash of vodka.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: cassis

                                          am thinking lemoncello, not vodka. :) and some nice crispy cookies, like pignoli, after a soft-textured meal.

                                          i would not serve anything creamy after such a rich dinner.

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            Had a lemon and limoncello sorbet in an Italian restaurant some months back. Lovely and refreshing end to the meal.

                                        2. How about a basket of those fried Italian cookies with a pot of lemon curd or that gorgeous blood orange curd to dip them in.

                                          Here's a recipe. I've never tried it. I just needed to see if there was a name for these things. I'd dial waaaaay back on the powdered sugar if you served them with the citrus curd.


                                          After considering everything I think these would be my choice. Same culinary tradition. Light. Crisp. Just a touch sweet. A citrusy note. And everyone portions according to their own preference after a large meal. Plus you could have it all prepared well ahead.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: rainey

                                            Variously called guanti, chiacchieri, stracci, cenci in different Italian regions. Taiglach in Yiddish.

                                            1. re: rainey

                                              Oh, what a lovely idea! Since I'm definitely going with a lemony dessert, I'm putting this one on my list. There have been some wonderful ideas in this thread :-)

                                              1. re: TatyanaG

                                                If you go that way and you want a curd recipe this is the easiest one I know of. It has wonderful sweet-tart flavor that isn't compromised one tiny bit despite how insanely easy it is to whip up.

                                                If you wanted that beautiful rosy color you could sub blood oranges for the lemon.

                                                Super Easy Lemon Curd
                                                Yield: about 1 3/4 cups

                                                • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
                                                • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
                                                • 1/2 cup sugar
                                                • 3 large eggs
                                                • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

                                                1. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 6 minutes.

                                                2. Force lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a wide shallow dish, scraping bottom of sieve, then cover surface with wax paper or plastic wrap making as much contact as possible. Cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

                                            2. Fresh ricotta, sprinkled with fresh fruit, drizzled honey, and a dusting of cocoa.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: njmarshall55

                                                I like to serve that as a hors d'Oeuvres without the fruit of course. Homemade full fat ricotta is so so good on a toasted country bread drizzled with honey or fig preserve...yumm...

                                                1. re: Monica

                                                  I love figs with just about anything..

                                              2. I had blood orange panna cotta after cavatelli Bolognese yesterday @ an upscale Italian restaurant and it worked well, I thought. It was served with a blood orange syrup with a paper thin slice of the orange poached in it. I would have added something crunchy to the plate like biscotti or other cookie. Lemon tart, key lime pie or Italian cheesecake would also be nice.

                                                1. I'll soon be making a heavy, rich Indian meal for guests, and I've decided for dessert to make a mango-mint sorbet. Should be light & refreshing after all the indulgences.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    I always love those candied fennel seeds that come with the check at my favorite indian place- really refreshing
                                                    Like these: