What primo piatto would you recommend for this Italian-inspired Thanksgiving menu?

I plan to serve Turkey Saltimbocca https://food52.com/recipes... , Hazan's Swiss chard stems side (sautéed with parsley and garlic), and a light fennel gratin for il secondo and i contorni, followed by a light green salad; we'll conclude with pumpkin budino and rosemary walnut biscotti - and vin santo, of course.

Many thanks.

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6 Comments

Mrs B. October 20, 2016
Thank you, everyone, for these thoughtful suggestions. I've decided to make cacio e pepe. We tend to embrace the gratitude aspect of Thanksgiving rather than the gluttony; spare as the meal may seem, when all is said and done, it will be quite to our satisfaction. Also, FWIW, I've decided to scale back to a single dessert - Marcella Hazan's country pear cake -- which is seasonal, refreshing and in keeping with the relatively low profile of the meal. I'll be putting a fig, cranberry and apple mostarda out with the turkey, and, to Nancy's point, I'll bake baguettes (Tartine Bread cookbook) for sopping up the salsina.
Again, many thanks.
P.S. I also plan to make risotto with wild mushrooms and sage for dinner on Friday. Che bella ispirazione, pierino.
 
Nancy October 10, 2016
Your choice(s) will depend on what you want the appetizer to do...stimulate hunger, ease into the meal, echo a traditional Italian meal or adapt that pattern to American thanksgiving, balance the other dishes for color, nutrients or texture?
some ideas:
A fish appetizer - if your guests like fish and there is some fresh near you then
An antipasto spread of nice bits to eat: olives, artichokes, giardinara, some cooked fish and salumi, etc.
A soup.
The suggested rice or pasta, but think I would use one of them as a hybrid menu item, served with the turkey and sides (instead of American stuffing) to help absorb and enjoy the good sauces & juices from those dishes.
 
amysarah October 10, 2016
Pumpkin (or butternut squash or sweet potato) ravioli or half moon shaped pasta, with a simple brown butter/fresh sage sauce. Many recipes online. If you don't feel like making the pasta, you can use round dumpling wrappers (available in most Asian markets) making it easy and delicious.
 
pierino October 10, 2016
Risotto with wild mushrooms and sage would be one idea. Marcella was Venetian
 
ChefJune October 10, 2016
Marcella was from Cesenatico, in Romagna!
 
ChefJune October 10, 2016
Your meal seems fairly light, so I'd like an "introductory" pasta as a primo piatto for this dinner -- maybe cacio e pepe?
 
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