Your Italian feast can be a small get-together or a large crowd pleaser. Italian food lends itself to both individual plating and a big buffet to let your guests come and go as they please. Check out the planning tips, and the recipes for seafood pasta, focaccia and more. Find out how to prepare a full course Italian meal with simple ingredients and ease. An Italian feast is perfect for a night in with friends. It invites the sunshine, laughter, wine and togetherness. Enjoy!
Your Italian Feast: Tips and Recipes
The countries around the Mediterranean know their food. The real taste of fresh food, and what to eat and when. The Mediterranean diet is based on local produce, respect for the land and each season’s special treats for mind, body and soul. No wonder that people who live here have longer lives and better health scores! Getting into Italian food has never been hard, but you haven’t tasted real Italian food until you come here. Of course, with inspiration and a bit of know-how you can create an Italian feast in your home. Let these recipes inspire you – and check out the recommended books for more how-to tips. Feel free to subscribe to The GOODista for more about lifestyle changes you can do to Feel, Be and Do Good:
In this Part 3 of our mini series about Italian food we give you the culmination of how your Italian Must-Know Guide (Part 1) and the inspirational Chef of Litrico’s restaurant (Part 2) come together in a perfect evening designed to bring Italy into your home. A perfect combo of sunshine, laughter, wine and Italian feast food. Enjoy!
ITALIAN FEAST PLANNING TIPS
The quality of the ingredients will make the feast. Invite your party, and plan according to numbers.
- Shop for best quality ingredients in an Italian deli, or well-stocked supermarket. Do the shopping as close to the date as possible so everything is fresh.
- The order to your menu is up to you – but normally you would start with an antipasto (a starter selection) – followed by a pasta, after which you can serve a meat / fish dish after which dessert and/or fruit will follow.
- Buy the antipasto ingredients so they can be simply placed on large platter for everyone to pick from, or individually plate. Look at the photos above to get ideas.
The pasta dishes need to be done on the evening and served hot. The best thing with Italian pasta is that it is not time-consuming – nor should it be complicated. Look at the recipes below for inspiration and check out The GOODistas ultimate tomato recipes too
- The meat or fish main course should be served on their own. Have a separate plate of seasonal vegetables, and perhaps a salad. Don’t make your life difficult. Grill a whole fish, or make a mediterranean chicken to take out when the pasta course is done. If you’re in for a simpler dinner maybe you can even skip the fish / meat course and go straight to dessert? I normally do when we are many, as the antipasto and pasta fills you up enough 🙂
- Dessert can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose. The easy way is to cut up fruit, and have some ice cream and perhaps a sponge cake on the side. Or – go for full-on Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle, and Struffoli – but don’t leave out the fruit for those of us who prefer the non-diary healthier option 🙂
- Drink Italian Wine and make sure to have plenty of water available. Cheers!
ITALIAN FEAST RECIPES
Get inspired by these recipes for seafood pasta and focaccia to create your version of an Italian feast. The recipes can be varied according to tastes, and number of guests. Feel free to comment, and share them with your friends and family. If you need to convert from metric, we recommend this great kitchen converter: Convert Me.com
- 2 Langoustine, Crayfish or similar - left whole (see photo0
- 6 Prawns - shelled
- 400 gram Calamari - sliced into rings, with tentacles
- 500 gram Mussels - cleaned and debearded
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Shallots - diced
- 100 gram Parsley
- 500 gram Linguine pasta
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Anchovy paste (optional)
- Capers - 1 tbsp
- 3 Tomatoes - diced tomatoes
- 2 Chilli - diced and deseeded
- 2 tbsp White Wine - must be a dry wine like pinot grigio
- 1/2 Lemon - juice
- Chop the garlic, chilli, shallots, tomatoes and parsley and set aside
- Slice the calamari, prawns and then clean your mussels (if you can get them already debearded it saves time)
- Line up your ingredients for easy and quick action.
- Boil water in a large saucepan, add a salt and olive oil. When boiling add the dry linguine pasta and cook for approx. 9 min. It should be al dente! Reserve some of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and then garlic, chillis, shallots, anchovy paste, and saute for max 2 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes and wine, and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the langoustines and cover the pan for 2 minutes.
- Now add the mussels to pan. Cover again with a lid and cook for max 5 minutes.
- Give the pan a shake before removing lid and folding in calamari and prawns. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until is all seafood is cooked through.
- Toss with linguine pasta, and add some of the reserved cooking water to give a creamy finish.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice, a dash of olive oil and season lightly (to taste).
- Garnish with parsley.
- Serve the seafood pasta as soon as its done - this is the best way to enjoy it! If you can't find all the seafood get what you can, and make sure to cook the shelled ones in first, and then the softer deshelled varieties. Taste as you go along, and vary according to availability and inspiration. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon Yeast - dried
- 180 ml lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon Honey
- 320 gram Flour - 00 is best, though plain works too.
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- Glaze: 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of water.
- Set the oven to 200 degrees celsius
- In a large bowl dissolve yeast with water, add flour, oil and honey. Knead for 5 minutes, then add the salt.
- Knead vigorously to work the gluten, and get an elastic and smooth dough.
- Shape into a ball. Let it rest for 20 minutes in a bowl, covered with clingfilm.
- Stretch the dough with your hand to form a rectangle. Then fold it into 4, which gives extra strength and crustiness. This is an important step to get that chewy yet airy focaccia.
- Place the folded dough in an oiled oven tray, cover it and let it prove for until it doubles in size (ca 90 minutes).
- Take the proved dough and stretch it into a rectangle and place in the overtly. Sprinkle with salt.
- Wait for a second prove (30 min) after which you use your finger tips to create craters in the dough.
- Drizzle the craters with the glaze, and finish off with some more salt.
- Let it rest for another 20 minutes.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes until golden and fabulous.
- Break, Eat and Enjoy!
- If you wish to add things to the focaccia - you can. It is just perfect as it is - but caramelised onion or tomatoes are great additions. In this case add the extras when you drizzle the into your craters. A focaccia is such a must-have accompaniment to an Italian feast, that you will probably want to make a few. This recipe makes one large one - so feel free to double or triple. Eat focaccia fresh, and if there is any left over - freeze it! 🙂
Recommended and Related:
- The Mediterranean Diet: Myths, Facts and Health Benefits – helpguide.org
- Adopt a Mediterranean Diet Now for Better Health Later – Harvard Health
- The Italian Foodie Must-Know Guide – The GOODista
- Italian Foodie Inspiration: Review of Litrico’s – The GOODista
- Books on Italy and Italian Cuisine:
Did You Like These Recipes? Please Let Us Know:
Subscribe to Newsletter and More
Inspiration to Feel, Be and Do Good