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Columbus Day Recipes and Menus

Does anyone really need an excuse for an Italian feast? I don't but, for those who do, Columbus Day is the perfect opportunity. I have posted two delicious Italian menus for the occasion. The first is a hearty Italian dinner featuring a popular Italian soup, Pasta e Fagioli, which is a soup made with pasta and beans. It takes some time to cook, but most of that can be accomplished one or two days ahead, as can the dessert, and easy Ricotta Cheese Pie. With a little help from a few simple, store-bought hors d'oeuvres, the menu comes together quickly at serving time. The second menu is a 'Build-Your-Own' Sandwich Party featuring Italian Hoagies (also called subs, depending on your location). As the title suggests, everyone makes their own sandwich using whatever ingredients they prefer, so it is easy on the cook and perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. The side dishes and fruit and berries dessert can be prepared a day ahead. Serve Italian wines or cocktails with either of the menus, and coffee or espresso to accompany the desserts. I have included preparation notes and each recipe has links to alternate choices. If you still do not find what you are looking for, browse the Italian Recipes page, where you will find many more recipes from which to choose.


Menu I - Italian Dinner
Menu II - Build-Your-Own Italian Sandwich Party

Italian Flag Image

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for additional
Italian Recipes.

Menu I
Italian Dinner
Assortment of Italian Cheeses,
Marinated Vegetables,
Olives and Nuts

Italian Pasta and Bean Soup
(Pasta e Fagioli)

Garlic Bread or Toast

Ricotta Cheese Pie

Preparation Notes: Prepare the soup up to two days ahead and refrigerate, reheating and adding the pasta just before serving as directed in the recipe. The pie is best made the day before and refrigerated. Purchase a variety of cheeses, vegetables, olives and nuts according to your preferences and the number of guests. Keep it simple. Arrange on a large serving platter or, if desired, have your deli prepare a tray for you. The guests can help themselves to the hors d'oeuvres while you finish the soup and garlic bread or toast. Take the pie out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to remove some of the chill.

Menu II
Build-Your-Own Italian Sandwich Party

Italian Hoagies (Sub Sandwiches)

Italian Potato Salad

Roasted Peppers with Garlic and Basil

Fruit and/or Berries
topped with
Mascarpone Cream
served with
Store-bought Biscotti

Preparation Notes: Entertaining doesn't get any easier than this and your guests will love it. The potato salad and peppers can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, as can the fruit, berries and mascarpone cream. Purchase your favorite Italian deli meats, cheeses and toppings for the hoagies. See the recipe for suggestions. About thirty minutes before serving, take the potato salad and peppers out of the refrigerator to remove some of the chill. Arrange the meats and cheeses on a serving platter or tray. Make the vinaigrette, slice the tomatoes, onions, green peppers, prepare the rolls and set out with any additional toppings or condiments for the sandwiches. Guests can assemble their own hoagies as desired. Do the same with the dessert. You can relax and enjoy the day.

Italian Pasta and
Bean Soup
(Pasta e Fagioli)

Pasta e Fagioli Recipe Photo