Sunday, 25 May 2014

Easy peasy, late Spring, Family Sunday lunch

The temperature is going up every day and very soon it will be too hot to use the oven in Italy except for first thing in the morning. The days of easy living are here. It is time to make anything that needs cooking early in the day. I love having all the family round for Sunday lunch and there is often a birthday to be celebrated too. My dishes for entertaining are all easy and require little skill, but good shopping is essential to get the best quality ingredients. Today I planned a family celebration for 16 of us from 1 year old to eighty.
Everything needs to be suitable for all those ages and not spoil if kept waiting. Here is what I made today, and it all got eaten up with relish. I try and make extra so I can give the guests something to take home to start off their working week with something ready-made for Monday evening.

Hummus with tarrallucci with aperitifs

Rice salad,, with mixed vegetables  and tuna fish
Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes,small mozzarella,sliced olives

vegetarian shepherd's pie
Spinach and ricotta quiche,torta salata

Green salad

Strawberries and cream and Scottish shortbread

chocolates with coffee

Most of the shopping can be done the day before.
Ready made Hummus dip
Tarrallucci or other suitable crackers
Rice for cold salads
Mixed vegetables in a jar
Best quality tuna fish, drained
Pasta, either penne or conchiglie or Fusilli

The Vegetarian Shepherd's pie and the Spinach and Ricotta pie are in my previous posts.

The Rice salad and the pasta salad can be made first thing in the morning along with the Spinach and ricotta torta salata. The Vegetarian Shepherd's pie is best made in advance, either the day before or frozen.

To make the rice salad simply boil and drain the rice then run cold water over it to stop it cooking. In a large bowl gently mix the vegetables and tuna, then add the rice and some olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Mix gently. If liked you can add cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and other pickles.
To make the pasta salad, first wash and  half the cherry tomatoes. Place them in a large serving bowl and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, basil leaves and olive oil. Mix gently and leave the flavours to develop while you cook the pasta. Drain the pasta, run cold water over it and then add gently to the tomato mixture. Add sliced olives and capers to taste. Add the mozzarella just before serving. and mix gently .Decorate with fresh basil leaves

Instead of a cake lots of fresh strawberries served with freshly whipped cream and icing sugar to taste.
Make sure you have your fridge stocked with ice lollies for the children for a mid afternoon treat.

Bread sticks, Ricotta and spinach pie, Tarralucci and Hummus, Pasta salad

Strawberries and cream with Scottish shortbread

A special box of chocolates is always welcome with coffee

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