Mangia Italiana!

My small group from church met at my house on Saturday, so I invited them to stay after for an Italian meal.  Since I had just returned from Philly, it was pretty randomly thrown-together, but we had a fun and tasty meal together. I won’t share recipes for everything – but here are some photos and short descriptions of the dishes.

We started out with deviled eggs made with capers, parsley, olive oil and Dijon mustard and topped with a slice of roasted red pepper.  I also had a cheese platter of 2 kinds of cheese from Di Bruno Brother’s cheese shop in Philly with crackers, Locatelli and Vantia provolone.  We opened a bottle of Malbec red wine and Vermentino Italian white wine to go with the meal!

I served two vegetable side dishes. Shown above is a cauliflower and broccoli gratin. The veggies were sauteed up with garlic and butter, and then transferred to a single layer on a baking pan, topped with bread crumbs and Parmesan, and roasted.  The other veggie was a shredded carrot salad, simply tossed with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

The main dish required a few steps of assembly. First, fresh pasta sheets were rolled up with a spinach and ricotta filling. These were then rolled up in cheesecloth (to keep the filling and shape intact) and boiled as logs.

The logs were then unwrapped and sliced into discs. Those were layered into a 9×13 baking dish, slightly overlapping. I made a homemade sauce of half tomato sauce and half bechamel white sauce. This rosy pink sauce was drizzled over top of the slices and the whole thing was sprinkled with Parmesan.

The fully baked dish was delicious! Finally, for dessert, I made a Peach Tart on a Chocolate Almond crust. The crust was a sweet almond crust with just a hint of chocolate. Peaches were cooked in sugar syrup until soft and then layered onto the crust and baked. I served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Here are the happy faces as we were eating dessert. The company and conversation around the table is what really makes a meal – and we had a great time together!

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2 responses to “Mangia Italiana!

  1. Hi Karin, everything looks delicious! You’ve inspired me to prepare some Italian dishes for my family tonight!

  2. Your “randomly thrown-together” is pretty awesome!

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