neighbors or your friends—or all of them—for a casual, delicious and
expandable or contractible open house. If you have a small group, just add a
purchased appetizer and dessert to the mini menu here; if you have a crowd,
simply multiply the recipes and add a few more purchased appetizers and desserts.
One menu fits all
Party for 8: Start
with an antipasto platter of high-quality jarred foods—marinated mushrooms,
anchovies—as well as cured meats. For dessert, serve purchased tiramisù (sold
in the freezer section of most supermarkets).
Party for 16: Double
the recipe. Start with an antipasto platter, plus goat cheese crostini topped
with ground pink peppercorns. For dessert, serve purchased tiramisù and make
granita from juice, espresso or wine.
Party for 24: Triple
the recipe. Start with an antipasto platter, crostini and a plate of
marinated olives and Marcona almonds. For dessert, offer granita and
store-bought tiramisù and holiday cookies.
NEXT UP: The recipes
Pancetta and Taleggio Lasagna with Treviso
casual, kid-friendly main is great for small groups—and can be expanded to feed
tablespoons coarse dry bread crumbs (preferably from crustless Italian bread)
semisoft cheese; available at some specialty foods stores and at Italian
Filling and pasta
oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta, celery, and onion.
Sauté until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup sliced Treviso to small bowl and reserve for topping. Add remaining
Treviso, 2 teaspoons thyme, and garlic to skillet. Toss until Treviso wilts,
about 3 minutes. Season filling with salt and pepper.
lasagna noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but
still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles. Arrange noodles in
single layer on large sheet of plastic wrap; cover with second sheet to avoid
DO AHEAD Filling and pasta can be made 2 hours ahead. Let
stand at room temperature.
butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk until
roux is pale gold color, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk; add nutmeg
and white pepper. Increase heat to medium and cook until sauce thickens and
boils, whisking often, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add Taleggio cheese
in 4 batches, whisking to melt before adding more, about 4 minutes. Season
sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon 1/2 cup sauce into 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish; spread to cover bottom
thinly. Arrange 3 noodles, crosswise and side by side, in dish; trim ends if
necessary to fit. Transfer 3/4 cup filling to another small bowl and reserve
for topping. Spoon half of remaining filling over noodles. Drizzle with 2/3 cup
sauce; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat with noodles, filling,
sauce, and Parmesan. Top with third layer of noodles; drizzle with 2/3 cup
sauce. Spoon reserved 3/4 cup filling down center of lasagna lengthwise in
2-inch-wide strip. Drizzle strip with remaining sauce, then top with
DO AHEAD Sauce can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill. Let
stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.
oven to 375 degrees. Bake lasagna uncovered until heated through and sauce is
bubbling, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 15 minutes.
reserved Treviso in small bowl with splash of olive oil and sprinkle of salt
and pepper. Sprinkle over strip of filling. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon