When it comes to entertaining, preparing a flawless guest experience requires attention to the details and a bit of know-how. After years of not being able to entertain, my calendar is finally filled up with dates for friends and family to get together. This season I’ll be using Authentica World Cuisine tomato sauce as the inspiration to add some bold flavours to a few of my menu items.
As a true entertainer, I always offer to host. I like to pop, sip and share my wine, design fabulous menus and create a memorable events. With my Italian heritage, and growing up in a fairly large family setting, food was always the center of any gathering. As I grew up, I became the person who added great wine to every occasion. Now as an adult food and wine always lead the way when planning a special night with friends I love. Regardless of how many people I’m expecting, hours are spent on planning the right wine list and preparing amazing food choices.
This season, I plan on making memories with many friends over great bottles of wine and fabulous food pairings. As a Canadian with an Italian background, I tend to constantly bring Italian food into my cooking. Throwing a party means I can cook pasta or pizza for a crowd! Below I have some tricks and tips for throwing a fantastic party – Italian style as well as two great tastings, full of flavour recipes below for quick and easy ways to entertain a crowd with Authentica World Cuisine sauces.
Pick a theme
Before you start to plan, try to think of a theme around your get-together. This theme will be your guide as you plan the rest of the event details. A theme will inspire your wine list, menu, decor, music and even the style of your invitations. A sample theme can be something like a region or place. For sake of simplicity, let’s take ‘Italy’ as an example for our theme country. One of my favourite places in the world, having an Italian theme can guide you in your planning for both wine and food choices. The theme will bring together people, food, wine and culture and make it an exciting and fascinating experience. Everyone will reminisce about their travel memories and some might even be inspired to book their next European getaway.
Choose great glassware
Yes, fine crystal glassware really does help wine taste better. Investing in fabulous glassware is a must for any wine enthusiast. If you decide to choose versatile glasses that can be used for both red and white wines it will make hosting much easier. Glassware that can go in the dishwasher is always helpful as well (pro tip – I use Riedel and buy them online or sometimes even at Winners and Homesense). Don’t worry about matching glassware for everyone, play up using different glasses this way people can also find their own glass when there are a lot of people at the party.
Start with an aperitif
Everyone loves an aperitif, whether you’re serving up bubbles or a cocktail, be sure to keep the theme in line for your bar cart. If the theme is Italy, serve up a Prosecco DOC (like Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore) or a fine Franciacorta sparkling wine. You can even use sparkling wine in a cocktail like a Bellini or put a Negroni on the cocktail list to match your theme.
Decant your red wines
When it comes to decanters, your full-bodied reds should be decanted for service. Always place the empty bottle beside the decanter so people know what wine is in the decanter. Be sure to polish the decanters so they sparkle and look amazing. When hosting, think about what you would want to see if dining somewhere special and do exactly that!
Keep it fun
People love getting interactive and having an excuse to talk to each other – other than small talk. We suggest picking up a fun game like grapes or Uno. This helps break the ice when people don’t know each other and get people laughing together. Research your favourite Italian Movie and have it going on in the background. Create a fun playlist that goes along with your wine theme to encourage a great holiday celebration vibe. Build a Spotify playlist and share it with your guests afterward as well so the party can live on even after the night has ended.
Be sure to keep your guests hydrated. Have water and alternative non-alcoholic beverages (try Clearsips.ca) on hand for those driving and not drinking. Know who your drivers are and remember to serve lots of food.
Have fun with food pairings
When pairing food and wine, always match the weight of the wine with the weight of the food. To achieve the perfect pairing, look to align local wines and local flavours, such as Italian wines with Italian food. Pasta and pizza are my favourite items to serve at a casual party or gathering of friends. They seem to always be loved by everyone and you can relax more as they aren’t overly complicated or require a lot of time to make and serve. I also love to always feed people a full meal and pizza and pasta are the perfect solutions. I always like to also have a cheese and charcuterie board.
These recipes all contain Tomatoes. Tomatoes are one of my favourite fruits. Originating in Peru, tomatoes (then called “tomatl”) were first brought to Europe by Spanish Conquistadors in the middle of the 1500s. The first recorded Italian eyewitness account of a tomato is from Tuscany in 1548. They called it “Pomodoro” which roughly translates to “golden fruit” or “golden apple”. Fast forward more than 200 years and we have an early recipe for Italian tomato sauce with pasta. Francesco Leonardi, a Roman chef wrote about his Italian tomato sauce in 179
Produced in Italy and drawing from fresh, high-quality, all-natural ingredients, Authentica World Cuisine pasta sauces have that delicious, bold, authentic Italian taste, no tweaking needed! All sauces are also Non-GMO verified and Gluten Free. Authentica is a part of a global movement for a sustainable and inclusive economy. As a certified B Corp, they are committed to using business as a force for good.
0 in the cookbook L’Apicio Moderno. The majority of tomato-based Italian pasta sauces that we love today didn’t become popular until the 19th century. The earliest known “spaghetti in tomato sauce” recipe that has ever been found is dated 1844.
About Authentica World Cusine
Produced in Italy and drawing from fresh, high-quality, all-natural ingredients, Authentica World Cuisine pasta sauces have that delicious, bold, authentic Italian taste, no tweaking needed! All sauces are also Non-GMO verified and Gluten Free.
Authentica is a part of a global movement for a sustainable and inclusive economy. As a certified B Corp, they are committed to using business as a force for good.
A strong, full flavour sauce made from naturally sundried tomatoes – this makes the ideal companion with Bruschetta
- One Fresh baguette
- One Jar of Authentica Siciliana sauce
- Fresh Basil
- Flat Filletes of Anchovies – in Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Club Des Millionnaires (millionairefish.com)
- Olive Oil, salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
Recipe: Slice the baguette and place it on a baking tray, add a bit of olive oil to each slice. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Once complete, remove from the oven and use Authentica Siciliana sauce as a base, add salt and pepper to taste, basil, one anchovy, parmesan cheese and basil and serve.
Baked Arrabiata Sausage Stuffed Pasta –
A strong and spicy pasta sauce made with garlic and chilli peppers, ideal to use with a sausage-based pasta!
- One bag of pasta shells or rigatoni
- One Jar of Authentica Arrabiata Sauce
- 3-4 italian sausages (mild or spicy based on preference)
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese to taste
- Fresh Basil
Blanch the pasta, and fill with raw sausage, pour Authentica Arrabiata sauce over the pasta and bake for 45 minutes, add cheese and basil and serve!