La Dolce Vita: How to host an Italian inspired dinner party

It’s time to get creative in the kitchen with great flavours and handmade fare.
Cath Muscat

Whether you’ve renovated your kitchen with an amazing selection of beautifully designed appliances, fixtures and fittings, amassed an enviable collection of heirloom linens, or have just arrived home from the farmer’s market with a bounty of fresh cheese and a divine new serving platter, an Italian inspired dinner party is a great way to up the ante with a little extra fanfare.

Plan your dinner party with passion

Take the time to plan your meal with gusto! Have your guests in mind, but don’t be afraid to show off a little! Perhaps start with a fontina, parmesan and potato pizza, then go the extra mile to roast a lamb shoulder for our lamb ragu with pappardelle, slow cook your beef or simply top off your usual osso buco with a fresh gremolata. Perhaps extend your repertoire with a new recipe you’ve always wanted to try, such as our elegant Roast beef tenderloin with garlic & herbs.

roast beef
(Credit: Cath Muscat)

Set the scene

Dress your table with your best linens and tableware. Think quality – carefully selected cutlery, your best china – be it an artful selection of mismatched classics, or your Grandmother’s favourite casserole dish – it’s time to press them into action with the serving ware usually just displayed on the sideboard. Add a flourish of blooms and layer textures in placemats and napkins, crockery and glassware, punctuated with rich colours in a nod to the tradition of Italian home cooking.

Dinner Party
(Credit: Louisa Lister)

Put the love in

Just before guests arrive, pop on more music, light a bunch of candles and set the scene for a lovely evening of stylish entertaining and ease.

Round off the meal with a classic Italian dessert, such as our Tiramisu and a glass of Marsala. Bellissimo!

Keep it real checklist

  • Allow time to get yourself ready – take a moment to relax with an aperitivo before your guests arrive as you transition from chef to host
  • Have a variety of choices on the menu to suit any dietary requirements – roasted vegetables are given a textural lift with grains and pulses, herbs and spices
  • Choose music to set the mood you want to create – perhaps a little opera, to start conversations and keep the evening flowing freely

Bello, congratulazioni!

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