Sunday, January 20, 2013

Simple Italian Dinner

The first rule of having a dinner party is to invite guests. Simple as that seems it sometimes gets lost in translation or social media. Last Friday night I was hosting dinner for (what I thought) 6-8 people. In the end we only had five guests -one flaked  -which was o.k. because he was invited one hour before we started cooking and the other two I forgot to invite (details, details, etc.). 

Besides the missing guests we ended up having a great time. After coming back from Italy I was inspired to cook for friends but I didn't want to slave over the kitchen. Below is what I served. The entire dinner was inexpensive, relatively healthy, and most of all delicious.  Total cooking time is under 2 hours (including prep). I also served a green salad (with grilled zucchini and red pepper) and of course gelato for dessert. 

Course 1: Pesto & Tomato Bruschetta 
                 -Slice a baguette, brush olive oil on both sides.
                 -Bake in the oven for 350 degrees for 5 minutes
                 -Take out and then spread pesto (we bought a wonderful jar in Cinque Terre) or a fresh  
                  tomato mixture
                -Put back in the oven and bake for additional 5 minutes

Course 2: Green Salad

Course 3: Low fat Spinach Lasagna (made with cottage cheese instead of ricotta)

Vegetable Side: Green Beans wrapped in Prosciutto
                   -Boil water
                   -Blanche green beans in the water for 1-2 minutes
                   -Drain green beans
                   -Heat oven to 350 degrees
                   -Bundle green then wrap a slice of prosciutto around the bundle
                   -Bake on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes until prosciutto is crisp

Course 4: Blood orange salad
                   -Peel 4-5 blood oranges
                   -Brush olive oil on the oranges
                   -Cut some slices of red onion
                   -Add a few slices of olives or capers
                  -Add a touch of rock salt and pepper

Course 5: Gelato (purchased at Whole Foods)

1 comment:

  1. That lasagna was so easy and delicious! I'm making it right now for dinner. But I'm doing the extra-lazy-version of it... just mixed a jar of store-bought sauce with frozen spinach, instead of adding extra onions and flavor ;-)


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