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{How do I…?} Order in Italian

menu-calligraphy-hanging-sign-diy-craft-5It is no secret that while I do love to cook, I tend to get sucked into the trap that is NYC takeout. With the addition of sites like Seamless, it has become almost too easy to order in (heck, I have been known to do it while in a cab on the way home.) If you find yourself short on time, but still wanting to pop open a bottle of vino. Extend that dinner invite to a few friends, with my how to guide to ordering in the perfect Italian feast.

{Italian Dinner for Four}

What to order:

  • Appetizer: 2 caprese salads (they get better the longer they sit, so a safe bet when ordering in)
  • First Course: 1 Large Caesar Salad
  • Main Course: 2 Large orders of pasta
    • Some of my favorites: Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, Penne alla Vodka with grilled chicken, a Classic Penne al Pomodoro, or spaghetti with meatballs
  • Sides: 2 veggie sides like spinach or green beans
  • Dessert: Pick up some fresh berries and ice cream on your way home. A simple scoop of chocolate and vanilla, a few fresh berries, and a glass of champagne is the perfect way to end the evening.

How to order: On the Side!!! Channel your inner Sally Albright (always love a good When Harry Met Sally reference) and ask for the pasta sauce, on the side. Keeping the pasta and the sauce separate during delivery will help keep it from getting mushy. Same goes for salads, wait until your guests arrive to mix it all together.

Ask if they include bread with the pasta orders, if not an order of garlic bread will never go to waste.

When to order: Depending on where you are ordering from will determine how long it will take to deliver, plan to have the food arrive 15 minutes before your guests are scheduled to arrive.

How to present:

  • Turn the oven on low, like 200 degrees.
  • Re-plate the caprese salads and pre-set on the table.
  • Transfer the salad to a fresh bowl and place it the fridge (wait to dress until your guests arrive and sit for dinner)
  • Transfer the pasta into oven safe containers and mix in the sauce and place in the oven until you are ready for the main course.

Item to avoid: While I love a good mozzarella stick, they just don’t travel well.  Here are some other items that are delicious, but aren’t worth the mushy risk when ordering in…

  • Ravioli and lasagna
  • Anything fried
  • Grilled veggies

Hope this helps make ordering in a little easier and heck if you clear out the containers your guests might not even know!

Image via A Fabolous Fete {CLICK} over for the free printable menu download.

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