Planning an Italian Night get-together? Make the three savory sauces in the Feb/March issue, then complete your buffet with these:
Pasta - Choose 2 or 3 types
Refrigerated may be the easiest to use. Beef or cheese ravioli, tortellini, bow-tie pasta, rigatoni, penne, rotini spirals, linguine, spaghetti, angel hair
* Or make your own pasta noodles with one of these recipes:
This Basil Noodles recipe is our favorite use for our summer crop of basil. We even grown a monster leaf variety of basil just to create this pasta.
—Janine M Colasurdo, Chesapeake, Virginia
Some 30 years ago, the small church I attended held a chicken and noodles fund-raiser supper. I was put in charge of Egg Noodles for 200 people! A dear lady shared this recipe and said it had been tried and tested by countless cooks. These noodles are just plain good eating!
—Kathryn Roach, Edgemont, Arkansas
Meats - Choose 2 or 3
Italian sausage, crumbled or in balls; ground beef-crumbled or in balls; grilled chicken strips; sauteed shrimp
Add-ons — Choose as many optional ingredients as you like
Toasted pine nuts, roasted asparagus spears, steamed broccoli florets, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, fresh mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, shredded carrots
Sides - Choose one or 2 of these recipes
Italian Vegetable Salad
Even our two small children eat their vegetables when I serve this colorful nutritious combination. To make Italian Vegetable Salad a main dish, I'll stir pepperoni slices and cooked cooled pasta into the crunchy, creamy blend.
—Debbie Laubach, La Prairie, Minnesota
In this simple Celebration Antipasto recipe, a colorful combination of vegetables is tossed with a specially seasoned dressing. It makes a nice accompaniment to many meals.
—Audrey Thibodeau, Gilbert, Arizona
This classic Italian combination of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil is dressed up with marinated artichokes. Caprese Salad looks so lovely on a platter. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to great taste.
—Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
This wonderful accompaniment could not be tastier or simpler to make. Minced fresh garlic is key to these flavor-packed crusty Garlic Bread slices, which our big family would snap up before they even had a chance to cool.
—Grace Yaskovic, Branchville, New Jersey
Dessert — Choose one
Pick up some gelato at the grocery store, or buy tiramisu, cannoli or Italian cookies from an Italian bakery. To make your own dessert, choose one of these recipes.
This no-bake Easy Tiramisu comes together quickly and can even be made the night before. Sometimes I drizzle additional chocolate syrup over the coffee and pound cake. Other times, I add sliced almonds to the topping.
—Nancy Brown, Dahinda, Illinois
Italian Cenci Cookies
My mother brought this special family recipe from Europe a century ago, Italian Cenci Cookies can be "dressed up" for any holiday.
—Anna Coduto, Fullerton, California