Tips for a traditional Italian dinner

We love Italian food here. We really like conjuring up the most delicious pastas and risottos for our friends, and can really enjoy indulging ourselves in real Italian ice cream. But do you realise the Italians actually eat their pastas as a starter instead of as a main course? Here are a few tips on how to surprise your friends with a traditional Italian meal.

An Italian meal traditionally has four courses: antipasti, primi piatti, secundi piatti and dolci. Antipasto (antipasti is the plural) usually stands for cold specialties such as ham, sausage or stuffed mushrooms. Delicious with bruschetta or crostini! The primo piatto, the starter, is generally a pasta, rice or gnocchi dish. This is followed by the main course: the secondo piatto. The choice is between "Carne o Pesce " which means meat or fish. If you like, you can order extra vegetables and potatoes as a side dish (contorni) with your main course.

And then it's time for dolci, the sweet desserts. Italian love sweet desserts, fruit, gelato and semifreddo, a type of half-frozen ice cream. And last but not least is of course the espresso, a tiny cup of strong coffee. Are you feeling peckish? Check out our recipes to really make an Italian evening of it.