It is easy to dismiss Italian food as simply pastas and tomato-based sauces, but that is barely even a starting point. Indeed, it is less than a single course in a banquet of possible meals. Many people eat or drink something from Italy or inspired by its culinary traditions every day, sometimes without even knowing it.
A frothy cappuccino, steaming hot mini-cup of espresso, or tall latte has become a common part of life around the world. With crunchy, fresh biscotti for dipping it becomes even tastier. While it may seem like these tasty treats are the invention of coffee shop chains, they almost all have their roots in Italy. Panini, sandwiches on ciabatta bread, macaroni and cheese, and pizza are a few other examples of Italian food that are so common, many people don’t connect them with Italy at all.
The variety of Italian food available makes it an ideal theme for brunch at home with friends, a nice dinner party, a picnic on a nice day, or even just a simple packed lunch. Those looking to treat themselves at home can add some excitement to a simple meal with a few roasted red peppers, pesto butter, or tasty jarred pickled vegetable spread. And most any day is improved by a slice of rich and tasty tiramisu, either homemade, fresh from a shop, or even frozen from the store.
Weekend Brunch With Friends
Simple foods that are easy to make in advance and warm up or set out right before serving work well here, allowing the host to enjoy their day just as much as the guests. Some good options include:
-Panini sandwiches with slices of provolone or mozzarella cheese, capicola or prosciutto ham, sun-dried tomato spread, and roasted red pepper. Assemble them the night before, then just pop them in a panini grill, slice into finger-food sizes, and put them on a plate.
-Frittata, or baked omelet, with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Popular options include potato chunks, Fontina or Asiago cheese, precooked spicy sausage or bacon, as well as onions, garlic, and artichoke hearts. This dish is often better the next day.
-Antipasto of cold pickled vegetables, olives, cured meats like salami or prosciutto, cubes or thin slices of cheese, often tossed with delicious olive oil and sprinkled with oregano and basil.
-Warm bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in. Also, a variety of spreads, either homemade or purchased. Possible options include olive tapenade, pesto butter, blended roasted peppers, or fresh tomato tossed with onion, garlic, olive oil and vinegar.
-Cappuccino and Prosecco. Add some peach puree to the Prosecco and guests can enjoy a classic Bellini.
All of these Italian food options also make wonderful picnic or workday lunches, though perhaps the wine should be left for outside business hours. For dinner, there are options like veal or chicken Parmesan, polenta with a variety of sauces and toppings, or hearty pasta e fagiole–a delicious soup with beans and pasta. Likewise, sandwiches or salads of fresh mozzarella, sliced ripe tomato, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar can add a simple and delicious taste of Italian food to any meal.
Papperdelle Pantry is well known Italian Restaurant in Sydney. Visit our restaurant and have your favourite Italian dish.