We are having so much fun sharing our new, beautiful home with friends! Entertaining in our prior small apartment was not easy nor comfortable. We seldom did it. It feels so amazing to be living the lifestyle we love again. For our Italian Dinner party, my husband and I were feeling ambitious. We planned a four course meal for our guests: antipasti, primo piatto di pasta, secondo piatto de carne, and dolce (brought by our guests). We also paired each course with a delicious wine (chosen by the experts at Pastoral).
Knowing we had little toddlers to entertain, we started the night in our courtyard with the antipasti. The toddlers shared their own cheese board on a picnic blanket heavy-laden with toys. When the toddlers started to get antsy and the cheese was almost gone, we transitioned indoors.
My husband and I cooked broccoli rabe pesto linguini and an Alfredo pasta for the kids. We had prepped the ingredients before the guests had arrived. My Alfredo pasta is super easy and kids LOVE it: slowly simmer about 1/2 cup cream with 3 tablespoons of butter for ten minutes or until slightly thickened, season with salt, add your cooked pasta, and grate parmigiano-reggiano on top. Delizioso! I mean, honestly, who doesn’t like a butter and cream sauce?
When everyone was just about finished with the pasta, my husband grilled the New York strip and halibut. He had sou-vide the steak for about two hours prior to finishing on the grill. The steak and fish only took a few minutes on the grill. We topped it with the salsa verde we had made ahead and served it on a bed of dressed arugula. Two out of the four toddlers devoured the fish, the other two stuck with pasta and bread. All the adults enjoyed!
By now the kids were getting pretty unruly, so we embraced the craziness and brought out the cupcakes. The sugar rush hit and, of course, toddler chaos ensued! While running after chocolate-faced toddlers, the adults finished drinks and tried to get bites of cupcakes that hadn’t been hoarded by the toddlers! Haha! Eating dessert with toddlers is basically a war… who can hork down the sweets first! The evening was really fabulous! When you have kids, you get used to everything being a bit crazy. Next time, we will most likely stick to a three course dinner party, this will work a bit better for toddlers’ attention spans. Give it a try, though! The food was definitely worth the chaos! Saluti!
Components + Credit
- design – Erin Catlin
- pics – Erin Catlin
- pickled – olives, cornichons, caper berries
- meat – prosciutto, calabrese Italian salami
- cheese – Quadrella di Buffala, Robiola and one other I forgot to record
- fruits – grapes, pears, figs
- proscuitto wrapped figs
- artisan crackers
- sparkling rosé wine
- Toddler Antipasti
- Monterey Jack
- artisan crackers
- pitted, halved olives
- halved grapes
- Linguni with Broccoli Rabe Pesto, Oregano and Peppers, recipe from Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini
- white wine
- Toddler Primi
- alfredo pasta with parmigiano reggiano
- grilled New York strip and grilled halibut
- garnished with Salsa Verde, recipe from Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini
- arugula dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
- red wine
- Toddler Secondi
- grilled halibut