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5 Italian Dinner Party Ideas

Italian Dessert Soiree
Tiramisu will please even the most finicky guest's sweet tooth!
Tiramisu will please even the most finicky guest's sweet tooth!
Clive Champion/FoodPix/Getty Images

Special life moments -- like graduations, wedding engagements, baby showers or milestone anniversaries -- call for equally exceptional celebrations. What better way to set the tone and ring in a happy occasion than with extraordinary Italian desserts? These sweet ideas are sure winners for your table:

  • Tiramisu: This Tuscan trifle features ladyfingers dipped in a coffee-flavored liqueur and layered with rich mascarpone cheese custard and grated chocolate. It's arguably Italy's most popular dessert.
  • Panna Cotta: This classic Italian custard is often served with caramel or chocolate sauce and wild fruit coulis.
  • Cassata Siciliana: As delicious as it is beautiful, this sponge cake is made with ricotta cheese, chocolate or vanilla filling and candied fruit peel.
  • Gelato: Created from a custard base of eggs and milk or cream, gelato is denser than ice cream and typically has less fat.
  • Tartufo di Pizzo: This specialty truffle concoction from the Calabria region in southern Italy is served as a large ball of chocolate or hazelnut ice cream filled with fudge sauce and rolled in cocoa powder.

Serve your Italian confection with a beverage that complements its sweet flavors, such as Italian dessert wine, a sparkling wine or espresso.