May 29, 2012

Antipasti. Alfresco. Amour.

My first apartment was on Tenth Street, between 1st & A, in the East Village.  In that studio, I threw my first solo dinner parties.  There were theme parties (my first Oscar party was a potluck, each guest was assigned a movie to inspire a dish), plenty of Sex and the City marathons with take-out and my first 'baby shower' when I got George (miniature dachshund).  But my go-to party was to run around the corner to Russo's Mozzarella and Pasta, and pick out some real-deal Italian meats & cheese.  What else does one need for a party?  Maybe some cannolis from Veniero's next door and good friends to bring the wine.  I loved sampling their selections and got addicted to the rush of bringing my packages home and unwrapping them onto newly purchased Martha Stewart for Kmart dishes (a cooler girl might reference flea market finds, but I wasn't there yet!).  Then the good friends came and the fun was had.  Fast forward a few years and the formula remains tried & true.  People love to snack and Italians make the best snacks.  Assembling meat & cheese platters with fresh & pickled vegetables, and plenty of good breadsticks and bread, is a solid spread for a cocktail party.  On this night, we continued the festivities to dinner:  a spaghetti & meatball feed.  The ultimate comfort food.  I've been craving spumoni so we created our version with cups of pistachio, black cherry & chocolate gelatos.  Better than a cannoli!  Some things never change, while others get better with age...
The Menu


sweet vermouth, campari, gin, orange peel

snacks...aka antipasti

meat & cheese boards:

cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, castelvetrano olives & stuffed peppers

pecorino, parmigiano reggiano & gorgonzola cheeses

fennel salami, spicy salami, mortadella, soppressata & breseola

crostini board:
sardine, capers & lemon
basil pesto, burrata & red pepper flakes
fava beans & mint

to share

spaghetti & grass-fed meatballs with spicy tomato basil sauce

sauteed zucchini & squash blossoms

grilled asparagus with pecorino & mint

radicchio, arugula & bitter lettuces with extra virgin olive oil & lemon

olive oil bread


pistachio, black cherry & chocolate gelatos

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