Photograph of an Italian dinner spread, green beans in a white bowl, glasses of Negroni and plates of pasta with red sauce

Take a trip to Italy with this easy Italian pasta dinner menu. Bold flavors pair with simple preparations to create an Italian dinner that’s cozy, comforting, and quick to pull together. This complete menu is just what you need to gather your favorite people around the table.

Photograph of an Italian dinner spread, green beans in a white bowl, glasses of Negroni and plates of pasta with red sauce

Easy Italian Dinner Party Menu:

This menu served 4, but can easily be doubled or tripled. 

Photograph of an Italian dinner spread, green beans in a white bowl, glasses of Negroni and plates of pasta with red sauce

Meal Prep Tips

For a full dinner menu, it’s important to plan your cooking schedule to ensure everything is ready at the same time. Here’s a cooking timeline that will be helpful in getting this all together:

 

1 day ahead:

  1. Make chocolate syrup for negroni
  2. Wash and prep green beans. Store in a zipper-lock bag.
  3. Chop onions and mince garlic for puttanesca. Store separately in air-tight containers.

 

About an hour before you’re ready to eat:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 with rack set in lowest position.
  2. Prep green beans (toss with oil, honey, salt and pepper) and arrange on a baking sheet, cover with foil and set aside.
  3. Prepare dressing for beans in a large bowl; set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  5. Prepare sauce (sauté onion, add aromatics, stir in tomatoes and wine).
  6. While sauce is simmering, transfer beans to oven and roast.
  7. Uncover beans and transfer back to oven to finish cooking
  8. Add pasta to water and cook according to package directions.
  9. Drain pasta, transfer to pan with sauce and toss to coat. Keep pasta warm over low heat.
  10. Toss beans with dressing and herbs; transfer to serving bowl and garnish with cheese and nuts.
  11. Mix up drinks.
  12. Serve

 

Photograph of an Italian dinner spread, green beans in a white bowl, glasses of Negroni and plates of pasta with red sauce

Grocery List:


Dry goods:

1 small can or tube tomato paste

1 can peeled plum tomatoes in juice (28 ounces)

1 tube anchovy paste

1 jar pitted Kalamata olives

1 jar capers

12 ounces pappardelle, spaghetti or rigatoni

1 small bag Pine nuts or sliced almonds

 

Produce:

1½ pounds green beans

1 onion

1 head garlic

1 bunch Parsley

1 bunch basil

1 lemon

1 orange (optional)

 

Dairy:

1 small block Grated Parmesan

 

Alcohol:

1 bottle dry red wine (½ cup needed)

Campari

Gin

Sweet Vermouth

 

Check your pantry for:

Italian Seasoning

Red pepper flakes

Olive oil

Honey

Salt and pepper

Dijon Mustard

Cocoa powder

Turbinado sugar

Orange Extract

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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