Creating The Perfect Antipasto Course

One of the most revered traditions in Italian cooking is the antipasto course. Literally translated, it means “before the meal,” and it’s usually served before dinner. If you’re a new chef who wants to learn to cook online and you love Italian food, serving the perfect antipasto plate could be a great way to wow your guests and refine the cooking skills you’ve learned thus far!

The best thing about making an antipasto course is that you can have a bit of a creative license. However, it’s important to note that you don’t want to go too heavy with the items you choose. Similar to tapas in Spain and hors d’oeuvres in France, this course is usually served before the meal with cocktails or wine before guests sit down for a main course. Antipasto plates are great for your guests because not only do they show off everything you’ve learned in your culinary school programs, they allow people to slow things down, talk and create a casual, comfortable atmosphere.

You can mix and match a variety of Italian favorites for an antipasto plate served along with light red or white wine, including:

  • Shaved prosciutto
  • Garlic hummus and pita bread
  • Sliced tomatoes in Italian dressing
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Toasted focaccia bread
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Stuffed olives

If you really want to take it up a notch, you can include fancier items like genoa salami, olive tapenade, seafood items like smoked salmon or sardines, fresh fruit salad, or traditional antipasto cheeses like manchego, rustica or caciotta. (are these all named for places or people? If not, they wouldn’t be capitalized)

Make sure your presentation is simple and elegant – think “cocktail hour” – as you don’t want to overcrowd your main meal. Antipasto courses are supposed to be beautiful as well as tasty, so make sure to include a variety of colors and textures when selecting your items.

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