Una cena d’Italia!

Last weekend was the initiation of the global dinner series. My country was Italy which meant lots of courses and lots of wine. My guests were in charge of wine and I conquered the rest. It was a lot of planning and work but it was the perfect Italian evening in Eugene.

The menu:

Antipasti- Bruschetta with toppings of olive tapenade, onion ragu or tomatoes with basil. Figs with goat cheese and walnuts. Accompanied by prosecco

Primi piatti- Three bean salad with mint

Secondi piatti- Butternut squash risotto with saffron

Dolci- Panna cotta with strawberries and crema di balsamico.

My recipes came from Epicurious, Chow and Mario Batali’s cookbook Molto Gusto and from them, I wouldn’t have changed much.

The good:  I was really nervous about the risotto but it came out great, good flavors and it was hearty. Also, the panna cotta was amazing, I followed a Batali recipe from Epicurious and instead of regular balsamic mixed in with the strawberries, I drizzled balsamic cream over the entire dessert.

The bad: I was not entirely happy with the three bean salad – it needed something more that I couldn’t peg. Maybe more flavor or maybe it should have been a hot dish. I’m not sure but I probably won’t try it again.

The ugly: I ran out of olive oil.

Here are some photographs from the evening taken by Sean Danaher:

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