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  • A Recipe for Love, Italian Style
    Part 3 of 3: Contorno, Frutta e Espresso
    Continued from page 2
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    Contorno Contorno means side dish. Simple steamed vegetables like broccoli taste great and are good for you. If you want to stick with an Italian theme, broccoli rabe is an even better choice. A green salad featuring arugula or radicchio and tossed with either olive oil and balsamic vinegar or olive oil and lemon with salt is always served after the second dish in Italy. Italians believe this helps the food go down better. Follow up by passing around a plate of finocchio or fennel, whose anise taste is another digestive aid.

    Finally, many Italians pass around the fruit bowls filled with pears, apples, tangerines, bananas depending on the time of year. This is often offered instead of dessert, which is rarely served at home in Italy. Generally, Italians reserve their pastry eating for caffes or special holidays.

    Your best wines (homemade if you have it) should be served with your meal, of course. But a shot of espresso with sugar or Sambuca, depending on who you're talking to, is a great pick me up for your guests as they get ready to depart. If you miss those sweets, you can offer biscotti or a piece of Italian chocolate with the espresso. The only downside: After experiencing a menu like this, your guests may never want to leave.

    Part 1: Antipasto
    Part 3: Primo e Secondo Piatto


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