The 3rd Annual “No Football Sunday” Dinner – Italian Style

Yep, it’s that time again – the week between the playoffs and the Super Bowl.  What that means in One Woman’s Kitchen is a nice dinner with friends.  This year I decided on an Italian theme.  I have two amazing Italian cookbooks.  I’ve used Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan quite a bit.  Today I used that cookbook for the pasta sauces and the dessert.  This year I received as a gift La Cucina:  Regional Cooking of Italy.  It’s fantastic and authentic and has wonderful explanatory notes.  This is my first foray into those recipes.  From it I pulled the side dish, seafood and salad recipes for today.  The dining room is all set.  Just waiting for folks to arrive!


You’ve already seen the Homemade Pasta recipe. I’ll post the others that I can, though where I’ve precisely followed recipes from these books I can’t post them. Where I’ve made changes I’ll post my versions.

Here’s the menu for today:

  • Olive and Chile Tapenade
  • Greens with Lardo
  • Shrimp with Green Sauce
  • Fettuccine with Bolognese
  • Mini Penne with Peppers, Peas and Prosciutto Cream Sauce
  • Mushrooms with Tomatoes
  • Mom’s Rolls
  • Diplomatico (Rum and Espresso Cake with Chocolate)

I know.  Mom’s rolls don’t fit the theme, but I skipped the rolls last year and suffered much abuse from my guests!  Rolls it is.

Everyone has their own way of managing a dinner party.  My best advice, still and always, is do ahead everything that you can.  Before today I made the tapenade (okay, I bought olives with chiles and put them in the food processor); the green sauce; the Bolognese; the fettuccine; and most of the Diplomatico.  I also roasted the peppers for the cream sauce and set the table.  My issue today is going to be burner space.  When it’s time to finish things up I’ll need two pots for pasta; a large pan for the cream sauce; a small pan for the lardo.  I’ll also need to heat the mushrooms and the Bolognese.  That’s 6 burners and I only have 4.  I thought far enough ahead that I have the Bolognese and the mushrooms each in a small Dutch oven.  I’ll heat those in the oven.  Problem solved.  Fortunately I have two ovens so I can heat dishes in one and bake rolls in the other.

I have an hour before I need to start the rolls.  It seems odd that I have time to loll about, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do for the next hour.  Yippee!  Stay tuned.  Recipes and the verdict on the dinner still to come.

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