Does anyone really need an excuse for an Italian feast? I am Pennsylvania Dutch with German roots, but I absolutely love the flavors and simplicity of Italian foods as much as those of my
heritage. However, if you need a reason to indulge, Columbus Day is the perfect opportunity. I have prepared two delicious Italian menus for the occasion. The first is a traditional Italian dinner featuring Osso Buco (sometimes spelled Osso Bucco). It takes some time to cook, but most of that time is in the oven so you are free to do other things. Cooking the risotto is easy but requires frequent attention, so plan accordingly. Dessert is everyone's favorite, a make-ahead tiramisu. The second menu is a "make-your-own" pizza party that utilizes store-bought pita breads for crusts and an array of pizza toppings. Everyone assembles their own pizza so it is perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. The guests can enjoy the antipasti salad while waiting for their pizza to bake. Take advantage of the grocery store and a local bakery for the accompanying desserts of Italian pastries and frozen treats. Serve Italian wines or cocktails with either of the menus, and coffee or espresso to accompany the desserts. Each recipe has links to alternate choices and if you do not find what you are looking for, browse the Italian Recipes page, where you will find many more from which to choose.