Host an Italian Dinner Party

Shell Muscles in a Bowl
Entertaining: Parties
8 Ways to Host a Casual Italian-Inspired Party

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September 14 2017


If you don't have an Italian-themed party on the calendar, it's time to send out the invites and have a blast with one of the fun foodie ideas below.

  1. Easy Pasta Buffet

    Spaghetti with Red Sauce, Cheese, and Basil Leaves

    Cook the pasta, but leave the toppings to your guests. Have several sauces warming—vodka, arrabbiata, and truffle tomato sauce—and set out loads of veggies and herbs. Let your guests pick and choose what they want, keeping the pressure off of you.

  2. Have a Charcuterie Party

    Charcuterie Board with Crackers, Nuts, Cheeses, Jams, and Meats

    Set out several varieties of charcuterie boards: one with spicy salami and specialty cheeses; one with mild meats and soft cheeses; and one filled with fun sides, like pickled vegetables, apples, and almonds.

  3. Appetizers Only

    Shell Muscles in a Bowl

    Italians can serve enough appetizers to last an entire dinner. Dish out apps like crostini and dips, charcuterie, and steamed mussels for a party that will last all night.

  4. Make an Italian Soda Bar

    Hy-Vee Assorted Sodas in Glasses

    Using flavored syrups, sparkling water and whipped cream, you can make an easy Italian soda bar. Set up a variety of flavors and have your guests create their own concoctions! Fill your glass with ice, pour in 1 to 2 ounces (1 shot glass) of syrup, fill with carbonated water, and top with whipped cream. Cheers!

  5. Have a (Budget-Friendly) Polenta Bar

    For a classic Northern Italian meal, spread mounds of polenta on one large cutting board. Portion out the polenta and use different sauces, meats and vegetables in sections to bring different flavors to the table.

    Related Content, Side Dish
  6. This Is Our Bread 'N Oil

    Baking Stone Asiago Black Pepper Parmesan Bread and Olive Oil

    Artisan bread soaks up any delicious flavor you pair with it. Have everyone in your party bring a dipping oil or sauce to share.

  7. Show Off Fresh Herbs

    Fresh Herb Varieties

    Introduce guests to fresh herbs. Have bouquets of herbs around the serving area along with individual herbs for guests to garnish their dish or cocktail. Be sure to label them so everyone knows what they're getting into.

  8. Or Go All Out

    Cheese, Grape, and Wine Platter

    Italians make dinner an event. Serve each course—Apertivo, Antipasti, Primi, Secondi, Contorni, Insalata, Formaggi e Frutta, Dolce, Caffe, and Digestivo—and look like a true Italian.