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Italian Antipasto for Company

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Dear Lucia: I am looking for Italian antipasto recipes and ideas. We used to always have ricotta salata and hard-boiled eggs for antipasto but I'd like some ideas for other foods that are appropriate for company and even the holidays. Many thanks.


~ Maria


Dear Maria: A marinated vegetable antipasto always goes well with a holiday dinner and is also a great company dish. One I love was always made by my mother-in-law.


1 large jar Giardiniera (mixed pickled vegetables)
1 jar green olives
1 jar roasted red peppers
1 jar small button mushrooms
4 garlic cloves (sliced)
handful of fresh basil
1 or 2 T. catsup (according to taste)
olive oil and vinegar to taste (optional)
Drain all jarred vegetables and mix together along with garlic, basil and catsup. Taste and if you want a more vinegar flavor, you can add more vinegar and some olive oil. Refrigerate and cover. Taste will get even better the next day.
Since you like ricotta, here is a Ricotta Pudding recipe you can try for a dessert. This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
1 cup ricotta
1/3 cup candied fruit
4 T. Marsala (sweet)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
finely grated rind of 1 orange
2 cups fresh raspberries
Press ricotta through a sieve into a bowl. Finely chop candied fruit and stir into ricotta with half of Marsala. Put the cream, sugar and orange rind in another bowl and whip until the cream is standing in soft peaks. Spoon into individual bowls and top with raspberries. Sprinkle with remaining Marsala and dust tops liberally with sugar. Decorate with orange rind.

Mangia Bene!