An Italian Pot Luck Dinner Party
A pot luck dinner party is a tried and true traditional way of getting your friends together for a meal. The trouble is, the hubby and I aren’t very traditional, so we thought we’d spice up our dinner party with a theme – Italian.
In my typical organisational fashion (read bossy), I circulated information on how the Italians dine (many courses), and ideas on dishes. You see, although I’d never held one at home, I’d helped run a couple of other Italian Dinners in my time – two in 2010, and one in 2009 when a real Italian Mama came to tea.
Decorations included a red and white chequered table cloth, Italian flag hanging, and a framed print of Venice’s Bridge of Sighs on the wall. The hubby even found some Italian Opera to blast at guests as they arrived.
To keep in theme we tracked down some Italian wine (which in a dry area of Auckland is no mean feat – it was a mission to even find a store that knew what Montepulciano was). I even managed to find a New Zealand example of Montepulciano to compare with the Italian example, along with Chianti in a traditional wicker bottle basket and some Peroni Beer.
Our guests truly stepped up to the evening’s theme, with the pot luck food. For starters, we enjoyed spectacular toothpick skewers of cherry tomatoes, basil leaf and bocconcini, along with melon morsels wrapped in prosciutto.
The main dishes included a traditional meat lasagne, fresh focaccia (made by hubby), home made calzone and a superb salad with olives and flatbread. My creation was a scrumptious tomato eggplant dish (imagine cannelloni, but with thinly sliced eggplant instead), the recipe provided by my culinary goddesses that I work with.
Dessert included the most fantastically delicious twist on the Italian favourite – Tiramisu, with a homemade Tiramisu cake – think sponge, coffee, and chunks of chocolate. Bellissimo!
Now we just have to decide on the theme for the next dinner. Any ideas? Stay tuned!
In a nutshell: Be brave with your dinner parties, it can be loads of fun.