Because no one should eat Italian food alone, we put together a casual dinner party menu that serves about 8 to 12. The appetizers can be prepared while the lasagna is cooking, and remember, there's no shame is asking guests to help (or to bring wine).
Prosciutto Cantaloupe Appetizer
For a quick and easy appetizer that serves 12, use prosciutto, basil, and balsamic vinegar as toppings on cantaloupe. Tip: Double this recipe by using the entire cantaloupe
Grilled Italian Shrimp
This zesty pesto-covered appetizer is quick to prepare and can feed as many as the number of shrimp you buy.
One or two baguettes or artisan loaves will a go long way in feeding a crowd. Have guests top their own to keep the bread from getting soggy.
Panzanella is a filling dish that features chunks of toasted artisan bread. Serve it family style—one recipe is large enough to feed 12.
Make a large batch of meatballs as an appetizer or to serve on a bed of spaghetti. This Italian Beef Meatball recipe makes 24 minis.
Lasagna is an easy way to happily feed a dozen guests. You can even freeze an uncooked lasagna ahead of time and bake it the day of the party.
Amaretto Nut Bars
Making just one pan of these sweet and salty bars is enough to serve a crowd, and still have leftovers for the next morning.