THE RULES FOR A STRESS-FREE FESTIVE PARTY

Montecarlotimes’ Team with a special recipe by Paolo Sari, the only certified organic star chef in the Michelin Guide

MONACO. For a party to be a success and for guests to remember fondly the occasion, organization is paramount. First above all, don’t wait until D-Day to start experimenting. After choosing some recipes you know well, try some recipes in family days before to avoid last minute stress and disappointments. For example try the “primo piatto” recipe suggested by chef Paolo Sari in this article: the “cappelletti in a broth” is a Christmas Italian must. Also, set a list of all the food and decorations to buy. Another golden rule is to set the table the night before, because a nice decorated table shows your guests you’ve been looking forward to their visit. It reveals the hosts’ talents as well as their taste. A few ideas: a Christmas theme centerpiece, red candles, napkins tied in pretty gold ribbons. The table needs not be too elaborate; the main thing is harmony. Whatever your style of table decoration, or the number of guests, check that you’ve got enough plates, glasses, and cutlery.

You can plan at least one course you can make the night before, like appetizers and desserts: vegetable or fish terrines, patés, tiramisu, cake, strudel. Also one-dish meals are very practical. Don’t be afraid to prepare them in advance: there are some that taste better reheated, like for instance “ossobuco”, chicken “cacciatora”, and “braised roast”. Also think about using your freezer. You can always freeze sweet or savory tarts or a homemade cake. Ice cream has the advantage of being ready-made and can cover up any flaws in a less than perfect dessert. For the most nervous among us, the day of the dinner gives rise to an electric atmosphere of repeated rehearsals. So get yourself organized. Write a list of things to do, get out the wine, prepare plates of nibbles, get the plates out ahead of time. If you’re organizing a more formal dinner, plan the seating arrangements as this will help the dinner to be a success. Before your guests arrive, allow yourself a moment to tidy up the kitchen and get out the plates and utensils you’ll need. In spite of the careful planning, it’s easy to forget something, but don’t make it a big deal: explain it with a laugh — that can add to the atmosphere, too! Before the guests arrive, assign everyone in the family a role to play. Maybe your husband can take care of coats and offer drinks, your older children can pass around starters and keep the bread basket filled. Welcoming and relaxed hosts—that’s what your guests are hoping for when they ring the doorbell. Introductions are essential. When you introduce someone, immediately point out what they have in common with the others (“This is so-and-so; his children go to the same school as yours”…). Anything can be planned ahead, even the conversation. Think beforehand of what subjects to talk about. Try to brush up on current topics of interest. As for the menu, for example, choosing the easy going “cappelletti in broth of guinea fowl” Paolo Sari’s recipe as a first course will ensure your success. As for dessert, a simple vanilla custard will be perfect for “panettone” and “pandoro”’s dips, two specialties not to be missed at Christmas!

GUINEA FOWL CAPPELLETTI IN A BROTH: a dish that recalls ancient flavors, always perfect for the occasions of conviviality of the Christmas holidays.

Serving 8 people

Ingredients for 48 cappelletti: fresh egg pasta 300 gr, faraona in pieces – 1000 gr, onion 1, celery 1 piece, carrot 1, organic chicken stock cube 1, vegetable stock powder 1 spoon, , 1 butter 40 gr, cloves 2, fennel seeds 1 tea spoon, bay laurel leaves 1, a sprig of rosemary, half a glass of white wine, grated parmesan 25 gr, egg yolk 1, pepper and salt to taste and some mini vegetables to decorate the plate at your choice.

Preparation of the guinea fowl stuffing: put a saucepan on the fire in which you will melt 30 g of butter with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Chop the onion, celery and carrot into large pieces, add the vegetables to the saucepan and sauté well. Then add the guinea-fowl cut into pieces and let it brown well on all sides, then blend with half a glass of white wine. Add the cloves, fennel seeds, bay leaves and a sprig of rosemary. Season all with a pinch of salt and pepper, then pour a liter of hot broth over the meat, cover the saucepan with a lid and cook over low heat for about 1 hour, keeping the meat moist with the remaining broth. Take and cut the cooked guinea-fowl in small pieces, taking out the bones. Leave a few pieces of vegetables aside, you will have to add it to the filling, so as to give it more softness. Blend in a mixer the guinea-fowl, the parmesan, the egg yolk, a few pieces of vegetables kept aside and whisk everything, adjust the filling with the cooking juices and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Preparation of the 48 cappelletti: roll out the egg pasta and with the help of a round cut pieces of about 4 cm diameter. Place some stuffing in the center of each piece. Wet the edges of the dough with a little water so as to favor the closure and close it forming a “cappelletto”with the help of some flour.

Preparation of the guinea fowl broth: bring 4 liters water to a boil in a large pot with the guinea fowl bones, the organic chicken stock cube and the vegetable stock powder. When it reaches the boil, season to salt if necessary. Take out the guinea fowls’ bones before let the tortellini cook  in the broth for two minutes, then put the preparation in 8 single bowls  and serve decorating with mini vegetables as in the picture above.

 

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