Hey all, these have been a busy few weeks, lots of wedding stuff and school stuff. Ryan is done with law school! (besides that pesky bar exam) Last weekend Ryan's parents, grandparents and twin brothers (and Stephanie!) and my parents made the trek down to Cincinnati to celebrate.
Graduation was really nice and after that was over everyone headed back to our apartment and we had some appetizers. Ryan's mom brought shrimp cocktail and champagne for celebrating and my mom brought some cheese and crackers and grapes.Sorry for the photo with almost empty platters, I forgot to take a photo earlier..
We decided to make panne con zata which is a garlic-type bread that I think I've mentioned before. I bought a loaf of french bread and sliced the bread horizontally (like a sub) and then score each piece and drizzle with olive oil. You can season it with whatever you want, but I kept it simple. Salt and pepper to start, crushed red pepper and oregano. I just started growing fresh herbs again so I clipped some basil leaves and added those to the bread. I also added sun dried tomatoes to half and then sprinkled mozzarella cheese on each side. Then I wrapped the bread in foil and it bakes at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes I recommend checking to see if the cheese is melted.We also decided to make prosciutto wrapped asparagus which is a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis' first cookbook Everyday Italian. Ryan made this for me a while ago for my birthday and it was a great appetizer, and it was definitely a hit at our party! It was very easy, basically just seasoning the asparagus with salt and peper and a little bit of olive oil and bake it for 12-15 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven, let them cool and then wrap each spear in prosciutto and there ready to serve!After appetizers we relaxed for the afternoon and then had a great dinner at Bella Luna, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Cincinnati. Everyone seemed to really enjoy their dinners and besides the room being a little loud, I think everyone had a great time.
My dinner was great, I ordered the seafood stew, it was shrimp, mussels and scallops over a bed of pasta and the sauce was an olive oil sauce with diced tomatoes and a lot of spice to it! The sauce seemed to have a definite flavor of pepperoncini's. The last time I ate at Bella Luna I had a the mussels appetizer as my meal and the sauce was flavored with pepperoncini's and had them diced in the sauce. So maybe that's their thing. Either way, it works because both were tasty!
Another recommendation is to get the calamari appetizer. It's not the fried calamari that has become pretty standard on menus, it is cooked calamari in a spicy diced tomato sauce that is wonderful with the fresh breadsticks they give you.