I am planning to prepare a menu for friends at home, on saturday.

I need it to be easy, relatively fast and tasty. Following this rules (and being italian) I need:

appetizer pasta second course dessert

I've already solved (strange) the pasta problem: I'll prepare it with a delicious pink tuna I have, capperi, a little garlic, lemon and a sprinkle of white pepper. Sounds boring but it's delicious :D yum! :D

The dessert is done because friends always bring wine and dessert in Italy so I don't care.

What can I do for appetizer and second course? I really don't know :/ Meat is not a wise choice unless I prepare something particular, I guess... For appetizer a selection of cheese could work?

I just can't think about anything that works in harmony but I still want to prepare that tuna so badly.

Help, please!

  • 3
    What do you mean about preparing "something particular" in terms of meat? What are your actual restrictions? (I'd be happy to make suggestions, but I need a bit more information.) – Martha F. Nov 26 '10 at 16:05

If I have to cook for a big group, 9 times out of 10, I go for scampi. But if you use scampi as the second course, I'm not sure what to serve it with. (I make it as an entree). Rice or bread, I'd say. I've never tried it with baked potatoes, but maybe it could work; or other options of course.

But I don't know if two times fish (in a broad meaning) works for you.

You can also make your meat in advance (stewing, ragout (of chicken, in vol-au-vent), meatballs) so you just need to warm it.

Edit: Oops, I just saw that this is an old question...

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What I tend to think of for appetizers is something fairly light. You could make a salad -- either tossed or prepared. Or you could serve some sort of light vegetable soup. Or something with fruit -- grapefruit is in season, and you could make half grapefruits fancy by coating them with some brown or white sugar and broiling to give a nice crust.

Another option, and fairly traditional Italian, is to serve an antipasto. That way you could put out different cheeses (fresh mozzarella and provolone are fairly standard, I think), roasted peppers, olives, marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts. And if you want meat at all, you could serve some with that.

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I will write what I've done leaving here a very easy and succesfull italian recipee from my uncle :)

Arrosto di cima di filetto di maiale lardiato.

You'll need for 4 people:

Pork fillet (800gr, more or less) Lardo di colonnata (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lardo_di_Colonnata it is... Lard. Just look for lard slices: it'll be fine anyway. You'll need 100gr of that) potatoes (5 ore 6) carrots (2) an onion seasalt (if you can find the big one like this: http://www.saltexpo.com/files/u1/camargue.jpg you can use a trick)

So let's start!

Take the fillet, put it in a pan where you put just a little oil. Cook all its surface without fear. You don't want to carbonize it but you want its surface to be cooked WELL.

After that take a little time to wait for it to lower its temperature and take the big seasalt and spread it with your hands on the fillet. Don't worry about exaggerating: it'll take only the salt it'll need :)

Done that roll the lard around the fillet and with a cord tie it so it won't move while you cook it in the oven.

Cut potatoes and carrots and onion. I do prefer to cut the onion in "half rings": delicious :D

Now you can take a metal recipient (can't tell the name in english but it's like this: http://eshop.pcmitaly.com/images/product/LP16362P.jpg) and put a fair quantity of olive oil in it and your fillet, carrots, potatoes and onion.

Cook it for 40 minutes in your oven (210 degrees) and when you get to minute 20 turn your sweet fillet.

Enjoy it with a Chianti Classico Castello di Ugozzano (not very costy but lovely).

Have fun! :D

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