Cozy Italian Food & Friends

Simply mix wine, a home-cooked Italian dinner, good friends, and a little bit of Frank Sinatra for the perfect get together.  This group was so lively and fun!  They selected my "Cozy Italian" menu full of Rosemary Focaccia Bread with Herbed Dipping Oil, Pan Fried Provolone Salad with a Candied Tomato Vinaigrette, Individual Lasagnas, and Affogato.

First things first -- it wouldn't be a true Italian meal with a healthy dose of olive oil.  It's the olive oil that makes this Rosemary Focaccia Bread so phenomenal! Serve with a herbed dipping oil for an authentic appetizer.

Next, it's wise to start the lasagna so that the red sauce can simmer.  I like to combine sausage and beef for my red sauce.  But, it's the smooth, creamy Bechamel that makes this recipe unique from your standard lasagna.

Mmmm...I love the smell of the red sauce while it simmers!

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While the individual lasagnas baked in the oven, I prepared the salads.  Earlier in the day, I candied tomatoes by slow roasting them in the oven.  I toss a couple of the roasted tomatoes into the vinaigrette and blended.  Then, I like to fry slices of provolone to top the salad with. Nobody minds warm, gooey fried cheese, right?

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Lasagna is served!

The perfect dessert for this heavier menu is something light.  Affogato is a traditional Italian dessert of espresso poured over gelato.  But, I like to switch it up with vanilla ice cream. Bon appetit!

It was such a pleasure having your close knit group in the Crème kitchen.  Wishing you all a fabulous Easter!  Cheers! XOXO Paula