Planning the perfectly balanced dinner party menu is something of an art form. You want your guests to be full up by the end but not stuffed, and to be dazzled by the plates you set down without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Italian starters can, therefore, be a fantastic option for a dinner party; with colourful recipes relying on fresh flavours and quality produce, these dishes will awaken yours guests' palates rather than overpowering them.
Browse our collection of Italian starters and discover some inspirational dishes to try at home, whether you're looking for quick and simple recipes or something a little more challenging. Raw beef with tomatoes and mozzarella, a simple version of steak tartare showcasing the exquisite taste of quality beef, is a fantastically quick starter recipe which looks striking on the plate but takes just ten minutes to prepare. Similarly with elements that can be prepared ahead and the only cooking required utilising the reliable sous vide water bath method, the Costardi Brothers' 'Essential aubergine' requires little hands on preparation and can be put together at the last minute with dramatic and impressive results.
Seafood starters can be a light, elegant way to begin your meal. Try Cristina Bowerman's Cuttlefish spaghetti recipe for a glorious seafood pasta, or Gaetano Trovato's succulent scallop recipe served with burrata and peas. The Cerea Brothers' Steamed langoustines with oil, lemon and mayonnaise is a fantastic dish that will encourage your guests to set aside their cutlery and get stuck in, while their prawn starter with tomato, basil and burrata aims to showcase the beautiful flavours of the Mediterranean.
There are plenty of stunning vegetarian starters to be found in this collection if you're planning a meat-free menu. Fabrizio Marino's Gazpacho with fermented vegetables would work well as a healthy starter on a nutrition-conscious dinner menu, while the Costardi Brothers' risotto recipe is a fantastic vegan option, relying on garlic oil and chilli powder instead of cheese to create a flavour-packed dish.