What comes to your mind when you think about Italian food?
Pizza? Pasta? Risotto?
Hold up! Italian food is not just about this, it’s so much more. It is delicious, romantic, and gives you a feeling of warmth inside after eating. Italian food includes simple dishes that don’t complicate the taste palette.
Italian cuisine is one of the most preferred and known cuisines around the world. It has various options from regional options, local specialties, and different variations of traditional Italian food with a modern twist. It becomes a little difficult to choose what you want and what you should go with, especially when selecting Italian wedding food.
Italian weddings are a big thing in Italy compared to any other event that happens in the country. Italian weddings are big on their food menu, including the drinks. There are main types of food catering that you can choose from:
- Buffet Style (Self-service as the guests have to get their food from the designated stalls or area)
- Family Style (The dishes are kept on individual tables, and the guests have to serve themselves. It is like a family dinner table)
- Cocktail Hour (The main focus is kept on the drinks and small appetizers. It is more about drinks as it is about the food)
- Classic Plated Dinner (A formal serving of food in a proper order. This is preferred by most Italians as their first choice, and it is traditional Italian style.)
Let’s Take A Look At Some Italian Wedding Food Ideas:
We’ll be looking at the Traditional Italian wedding menu here.
Aperitivo (also known as the Cocktail Hour)
Aperitivo or Cocktail Hour usually occurs before the wedding reception and can be considered welcoming drinks for the guests. A cocktail hour goes on for at least an hour, where drinks are served to the guests along with small appetizers to go with the drinks.
Drinks include juices, Champagne, wine-like Prosecco wine, Bellini, or mimosa. Sparkling wines are also a popular choice. Along with the drinks, appetizers like peanuts or nuts, olives, and salty snacks are on the side.
The appetizers can also include fried vegetables, salami, crisps, and more. Vegetarian options include grilled vegetables, mushrooms, and grilled artichokes, salads, or biscuits with mixed vegetables in olive oil with cherry tomatoes.
The food can either be self-served or have waiters moving around to serve everyone. It depends on the catering style.
Antipasti or Starters
Once the drinks are served, the guests feel hungry and need more than just small appetizers. Moving on to Antipasti or starters, it is the first formal course for an Italian wedding reception.
Antipasti can include fresh salads, bruschetta, bread with a variety of Italian cheeses, smoked salmon, mushrooms, or any grilled seafood. More examples include Italian mini meatballs, Caprese Crostini, or spinach and radicchio salad.
One of the antipasti dishes is mozzarella di buffalo. They are different types of cheeses in a mixture served with a salad. Cheese like Lazio, Apulia, and Molise. These cheeses are available all over Italy, so it is not difficult to get hold of it.
Usually, antipasti are served right at the table as they are decorated differently on the plate. Though, the buffet option is still available if needed. These appetizers or antipasti depend upon the drinks served and the season that the wedding takes place.
Primo Piatto Or The First Course
Primo Piatto is the first course of an Italian Wedding reception. It is usually a pasta dish or similar to it. You can never go wrong with a pasta menu when talking about Italian wedding food. There are a variety of pasta dishes to choose from, and can be difficult to choose from.
The best option is to choose a local specialty, as every region in Italy has its own pasta form. Each region has its own taste and twists on pasta varieties. They vary in pasta shape and the sauce accompanied with it.
There are unlimited options when it comes to pasts dishes in Italy. For example, penne, spaghetti, lasagna, risotto dishes, or ravioli or tortellini. Pasta can also be served as the main course.
Sorbetto/Sorbet (Can Also Be Called A Dessert)
Sorbet is almost similar to ice cream, but sorbet consists of alcohol mixed with it. Alcohol mixed with it can be either vodka or any other substitute.
Sorbet is served as a palette cleanser before the main course is served. It helps to refresh and cleanse all the earlier flavors of food consumed.
The typical flavor of sorbet is usually lemon. But there are other varieties like mint, strawberry, or ginger.
Secondo Piatto (Main Course)
Secondo Piatto is the main course of the wedding reception. This course doesn’t differ much from traditional and modern courses of traditional Italian wedding food. It includes choices from meat varieties like chicken, fish, pork, or beef.
For example, fish-based food could be baked sea bass with sauteed zucchini and tomato salsa, or meat choices could be lamb chop or roasted pork. But usually, Italians prefer the traditional and familiar option of the chicken marsala dish. It is a classic dish and is liked by many. Chicken marsala is breaded chicken breast with marsala sauce and mushrooms.
Going for a vegetarian choice, the dishes would be based on vegetables like vegetable strudel or vegetable tempura in orange and yogurt sauce. It is a wise decision to have both meat and vegetarian options at the wedding.
Along with the main course, there are side dishes that are served. Side dishes are called Contorno, which basically translates to sides. They pair well with the main dishes and add more flavor.
Side dishes may include vegetables like eggplants or spinach, tomatoes, or herb roasted potatoes. This depends on the main dishes and what pairs well with the dishes. Side dishes can also be Caprese salad, green beans, Italian pickled eggplant, and more.
Dolce or Dessert
Just because there is a wedding cake doesn’t mean that there can’t be a dessert before that. At an Italian wedding, both dessert and the wedding cake are served to the guests.
Dessert is a good addition to the food course and the highlight of the wedding reception.
Italian wedding food list will be incomplete without the mention of desserts. Desserts can include an assortment of Italian desserts. One of the classic desserts is Tiramisu. The coffee-based dessert is not only delicious but a heaven on the plate. It has several layers filled with coffee and different variants.
Other desserts can include pastries, chocolate dessert options, mousses, cherry tarts, fresh fruits cut with vanilla ice cream and caramelized sugar, or a vegan dessert option for the vegan guests, so no one is left out.
During the summer season, the idea of gelato sounds exciting. Or ice creams and Italian cookies sound like a good idea to refresh the mood in the hot weather.
Torta Nuziale Or The Wedding Cake
The Torta nuziale is the grand event of an Italian wedding or any wedding. The wedding cake is the main event and thought out according to the bride and groom in the Italian wedding food list.
Generally, the Italian wedding cake is only 1 layer with sponge cake filled with flavored cream and decorated with whipped cream. The filling of the cake can be of any flavor like lemon, chocolate, strawberry, or any other preferred flavor.
One of the cakes is a traditional Italian Millefogile wedding cake, and it is popular among Italians. It is different layers filled with cream and berries. Millefogile is usually assembled right in front of the guests. It is also organized as a live show and makes it more exciting and memorable.
Even though the tradition is to have a one-layer cake, the option of having a tiered cake is still there. On request, a tiered cake can be prepared and decorated.
Apart from these courses, various food can be added to each course according to the host’s choices and the guests’ requirements. The number of courses can be edited too, either reduced or added to the wedding menu.
Even pizza can be included in Italian wedding food. Mini-pizzas are also served at a wedding as appetizers. Another variant is Fritturas. Basically, fried seafood or vegetables deep-fried.
Fritturas is another popular choice for an Italian wedding. And fritturas are easy to eat as they come in different shapes and sizes. They are arranged beautifully and in a decorative way and presented to the guests.
No Italian wedding is complete without coffee or espresso at the end. It is an Italian tradition to end the wedding with an espresso. Espresso can also be seen as aiding the digestive process of all the food consumed by everyone. A cheer of espresso at the end is a ritual in celebrating the auspicious event.
These are just a few Italian Wedding food ideas; there are is a long list of different ideas for an Italian wedding reception. Italian food is not limited in any way, and it is filled with flavors and variety.