I recently invaded my friend’s kitchen and threw a little Italian themed dinner party for a couple of our girlfriends. I guess I do onsite dinner parties now too! Since it was a warm summer night, I wanted to keep it on the lighter side. And, it was the perfect summer Italian menu, using ingredients that are currently in season.
Great food and great company…thanks for a fun night girls :)!
Appetizer: Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and a balsamic drizzle &
Antipasto with prosciutto, cheese and olives
Main Course: Homemade Basil Pesto with Fettuccine
Dessert: Lemon Sorbet & Georgetown Cupcakes (these may not be “Italian themed”, but cupcakes go with any menu!)
Cocktail: Lots of Wine (and one of my friend’s special bottles of wine for her first dinner party 🙂 )
**Keep checking back for recipes for all of the above menu items**
The Table Setting
In order to play up the Italian theme, I decided to use empty cans from canned tomatoes as vases for the centerpieces. For the flowers, I chose hydrangea (my favorite!), dahlias and some red accent flowers to stick with the Italian colors.
I also filled a mason jar with breadsticks, which added to the table setting and also served as a nice snack. Since it was only four of us, I decided to skip the place cards. A few cute options could be a mini basil plant or a mini bottle of infused olive oil at each seat with the person’s name on it.
When having a dinner party, the thing that always makes me most nervous is how to time everything right. I think the key to being able to get everything done on time and not being overwhelmed is planning properly. Do as much prep work prior to the dinner party as possible.
I was able to make most of the menu items ahead of time. Especially since I was not going to be in my own kitchen for the actual dinner and it was a workday, I wanted to prep as much as possible and this menu made that very doable. I mixed the bruschetta topping, made the pesto and made the sorbet the night before. All of the items store great overnight in the refrigerator/freezer. The day of the party, I picked up the flowers for the centerpieces and transported everything to her house. All I had to do the night of the actual dinner party was toast the baguette for the bruschetta in the oven and boil some water for the pasta so I was able to enjoy myself and not just spend the night cooking!