Leave it to Buitoni to come up with an even easier way to host a dinner party. Buitoni provided us with their frozen pasta meals for two, then asked if I’d create some salads to accompany the pasta. And of course, we had to invite some friends to share it all with!
Alan has mentioned on more than one occasion that he’d like to have a casual get-together with a few of the people he works with, so it seemed a perfect fit to include them in our Buitoni pasta party. I had never met any of them before, but by the time they left it was like we were all old friends! (I credit the pasta ;)
- Antipasto Platter (appetizer)
- Buitoni Braised Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Creamy Marinara Sauce
- Buitoni Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli with Garlic Butter Sauce
- Broccoli Salad with Gorgonzola and Lemon
- Arugula with Strawberries and Avocado
- Asparagus and Bell Pepper Salad with Balsamic Dressing
- Tiramisu (of course!)
Everyone enjoyed the pasta, but we were split down the middle as to which was best. My personal favorite was the Beef & Sausage, but I tend to lean toward dishes with some bite. The broccoli and arugula salads were my favorites; I love mixing fruit into vegetable salads! I wasn’t a major fan of the asparagus dish, although everyone else seemed to enjoy it. And the tiramisu turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. So easy to make and so delicious!!
This was, by far, the easiest dinner party I’ve ever thrown. It was far more casual than our usual parties which was a nice change of pace, and all of our guests were super fun. It just goes to show you that you don’t need fancy food to throw a successful and fun dinner party!
Not pictured…Alvin and Betty and their gorgeous two kids!
Here’s my favorite salad recipe from the three I served. Look for the rest throughout the week. And thanks to Buitoni and our fab guests that made this a fun party to remember!
Broccoli Salad with Gorgonzola and Lemon
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 (8-oz.) package crumbled gorgonzola, divided
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper (yes, you read that right)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- a few dashes of cayenne
- 6 cups chopped fresh broccoli
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Gala apple (1 large apple)
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
1. Heat pine nuts in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
2. Whisk together half of gorgonzola and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, apple, and cherries, gently tossing to coat. Cover and chill 2 to 8 hours; stir in toasted pine nuts and the rest of the gorgonzola just before serving.
Note: I found this to be even better the next day.
Inspired by a recipe found on myrecipes.com.