Italian Buffet ????

Lisa_in_GermanyMarch 9, 2010

If you were planning an Italian buffet, what would you have on it?

This would be for between 40-70 people with chafing dishes, warming dishes, etc.

DH and his twin are celebrating their 40th birthday this year and DH expressed interest in having an Italian buffet. His sister would be doing this at her restaurant so kitchen facilities aren't a problem.

Lisa

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caliloo

I would start with a great tray of antipasto with crusty bread.

Then I would do a couple of pasta shapes (penne and linguini?) with a couple of sauce options (Marinara, shrimp scampi and alfredo?) with sausage and/or meatballs available. Also a Lasagna (or two - maybe one vegetarian with spinach), salad, bread.

And lots of wine!

Alexa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:33AM
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caliloo

And I forgot to add a wish to your DH a very happy Birthday!

Alexa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:34AM
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eileenlaunonen

Eggplant Parmasean,Penne Ala Vodka,Suasage & Peppers,Zuppa de Pesce Chicken Marsala

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:55AM
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teresa_nc7

I would add soup - either minestrone or Italian (Wedding) Meatball soup. Perhaps cannoli and other Italian pastries for dessert and Cassata if you want a cake. You might want to do some big pans of roasted vegetables which would be easy and offer a vegetable, easier than salad perhaps.

Sounds like a great birthday party!

Teresa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:13AM
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lisazone6_ma

I would do an antipasto with bread as well. Soup can be hard if people have to carry bowls from a buffet table to their own table. Pasta is ubiquitous at an Italian meal, so I would include that as well, but I would go with stuffed shells - easier at a buffet than having to cut and serve lasagna. Sausage, peppers, onions & potato is also another favorite. A chicken dish in a wine/garlic sauce would be nice to get away from chicken parm. Most Italian food actually doesn't use spaghetti sauce much. You could do a veggie pasta dish like alfredo or pesto or do an eggplant parm if everyone likes the sauce and cheese type Italian food and doesn't want meat/fish. But a fish dish would be good - shrimp scampi is the usual, but mussels with garlic and diced tomato and basil are popular depending on their availability in your area. I'm on the coast so seafood is plentiful, but if you're in the middle of the country, not so much. A large pan of various roasted veggies is great as well - drizzle on some olive oil and rosemary. Italians actually eat way more veggies than pasta!

I tend to shy away from traditional "American" Italian food, as that's not what I grew up on. But I realize those dishes are the most popular, and for a reason! They are good, it's just not the stuff I think of when I think "Italian food". :)

Lisa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:09AM
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loagiehoagie

Let the pizza's roll...you know for the kids! :-)
...Yeah....for the kids...sure.....

thin crust....hand tossed....deep dish....
..

can ya tell I'm on a diet? LOL

Duane

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:56AM
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lindac

Of course an antipasto platter....and some fried calamari ( don't forget the wine)....a huge green salad dressed with a simple oil and vinegar....replenished frequently. Then a basic pasta with red meat sauce,( more wine) lasagna and perhaps gnocci in a simple butter and grated parm and then some meat and/or fish dishes....like a chicken marsala, scampi, beef saltimboca and the sausage and peppers suggested by eileen ( and a variety of wines).
Then a separate table of pastries and cakes....
And of course finish with espresso and Grappa and maybe Strega!! I looooove strega!
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:56AM
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annie1992

Lisa, I'm no help on the Italian food, I can only tell you that I love fried calamari and anything with fish, LOL. Oh, and tiramisu, I like tiramisu a lot.

I just wanted to bump in and say Happy Birthday to your DH!

Annie

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:13AM
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hawk307

Lisa:
All the suggestions sound good.
The only other thing I can think of is,
Stuffed Baked Calamare in Tomato Sauce.
Garlic Bread.
Lou

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 2:08PM
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jimster

Ditto on the Stuffed Baked Calamare in Tomato Sauce. It's exquisite when made the way I know Lou would make it.

Ditto a big antipasto with sorpressata, asiago, olives, etc. etc.

Fettucini Alfredo (self serves better than some other pastas).

Beans and greens.

Stuffed artichokes.

Italian cookies.

Jim

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 2:43PM
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jimster

Over on Cookalong #22 EGGPLANT, suzytwo has posted about Eggplant Rolls, aka Eggplant Rollatini. That would be great for the buffet. It's basically like eggplant parm but rolled up in little packages which would be neat and convenient for self service.

By now you see that I'm concerned about how messy the serving platters, pans and dishes can get when folks start scraping and scooping.

Jim

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 4:55PM
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jimster

Over on Cookalong #22 EGGPLANT, suzytwo has posted about Eggplant Rolls, aka Eggplant Rollatini. That would be great for the buffet. It's basically like eggplant parm but rolled up in little packages which would be neat and convenient for self service.

By now you see that I'm concerned about how messy the serving platters, pans and dishes can get when folks start scraping and scooping.

Jim

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:14PM
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sissyz

I serve an Italian buffet every year for Christmas with family and I love to serve stuffed shells. I find them easier than manicotti and you can serve some with meat and some without.
I also boil an additional package of the shells and toss them with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I let them chill and stuff them with chopped lettuce and olives and pepperoncini. I garnish with chopped parsley and they are beautiful served on Grama's silver tray!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:17PM
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jimster

Stuffed shells! Great idea. Another easy to serve pasta. Now I want to do an Italian Buffet. There are so many excellent suggestions. Gotta remember your Salad in a Shell, sissyz. That's a winner.

Jim

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:38PM
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caliloo

Wow - I love the idea of Salad in a Shell. I might go as far as doing a finely chopped asntipasto in a shell.... the possibilities are endless!@

Alexa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:26PM
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publickman

I had an Italian party at my house in Austin and invited the entire Italian department from UT. I made pizzas and some friends came over and made fresh ravioli, which was a big hit. The pizza was popular too. It wasn't exactly a dinner party although it was held late afternoon to early evening, and we had plenty of food. The invitations said 5:00 p.m. (and so I expected it to be over before dinner), and a few students (American) actually showed up at 5:00 p.m., but not the ones who were supposed to help with the food - they showed up at 6:00. None of the Italians showed up until 7:00 p.m. Their reasoning was, if I said 5:00 p.m., then I must have meant 6:00 and therefore no one should show up before 7:00! The party lasted until 11:00 p.m. and was very memorable. My housemate agreed to be the papparazzo, and so I got great pictures.

I guess since your party is at a restaurant, you won't have the problem of people arriving late.

Happy birthday to your DH and his brother!

Lars

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Lisa_in_Germany

Thank you everyone for the great ideas. I am still working on putting it all together, but will let you know what I decide on.
Sadly, I can't do the seafood things because it is so cost-prohibitive here, but I think it will still be good.
I have definitely decided on two kinds of lasagna, chicken in a wine/lemon sauce, meatballs and then pasta with 2 sauces. Just haven't decided on the sauces, yet.

I will also do the antipasta. I am also hoping to bake my own baguettes. I will probably use Ann T's bread recipe to make them. Also going to add a whole wheat one.
Thanks again for the ideas and if anybody has anymore, please add them.
Thanks also for the birthday wishes. The party will be in May.
Lisa

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 3:17AM
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