Home Cooking 3

Need dinner party suggestions (Italian theme)

ashes | Jan 7, 200803:41 PM

I'm planning a dinner party for about 20 people (could be 30 if all invited show) and need some help with the menu. This will be be buffet style and laid back in terms of serving/eating (think late 20 somethings with lots of vino and very hungry). I had a similar party in the past and will stick with some of the favorites but need to round out the menu.

Thus far I will be making a Sausage and Pepper Lasagna, an Eggplant Parmesan, and Gnocchi with Gorogonzola Cream Sauce. I'm thinking of adding grilled chicken and/or shrimp with pesto and a Spinach Mushroom and Artichoke Casserole. I'll also have a large salad (likely Caesar). What is missing? Are there flavors I am forgetting? I've added in a Spagetti Carbonara in the past. I'm also trying to keep a balance between meat and non meat dishes (menu needs to be vegetarian friendly).

As for starters I'm at a bit of a loss aside from the usual suspects of tapenades and an antipasto platter. Any suggestions for quick and make ahead?

Finally dessert is stumping me. I want to make Tiramisu but need a good trusted recipe. And, I'd love to make it more cocktail friendly, perhaps a cupcake or other single serve suggestion.

I'm open to suggestions and have plenty of time to prepare (3 weeks).

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