How to host an Italian feast

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This Italian feast with an abundant Antipasto platter, crisp, thin-base pizza and raspberry stuffed bombolini will have your guests begging for more.


Italian feast tableIf you had to ask me what my favourite cuisine in the world is, I don’t know if I’d be able to give you an answer. There are just so many that I adore. From Asia all the way to Mexico, I love them all. But without-a-doubt, Italian cuisine with all its intricacies and delicacies would have to be in my top-3. Slow-cooked Osso Bucco on soft polenta, al dente pasta with a simple sauce, wobbly just-set panna cotta with a fruity sauce. I mean, I’m drooling just thinking about it all. And then we haven’t even gotten to all that glorious cheese.

Antipasto platterThat’s why when my friends at Galbani asked if I’d be interested in creating a glorious Italian feast for their #shareGalbani campaign with their fantastic cheeses, I jumped at the chance. Let’s be honest, you don’t have to ask me twice to work with cheese. I was sent their delicious mozzarellas and the most buttery, creamy mascarpone to play with and you guys. It was pretty much the best week I’ve had in a really long time. Cheese, cheese, CHEESE! *Swoon*

Marinated mozzarellaI decided to start my feast off with an Antipasto platter where marinated fresh mozzarella is the star. I love starting a meal with a “picky” platter where everyone can help themselves to what they feel most like. You could add and leave out whichever elements you choose but believe me, that marinated mozzarella is life-changing!

Following that, I served an impossibly crisp-bottomed pizza topped with salami, TWO types of mozzarella (because why not?!) and my home-made sundried tomato pesto. Are you drooling yet?

Salami, artichoke and sun dried tomato pizzaSalami, artichoke and sun dried tomato pizzaAnd then came the grand finale. Now listen, the Italians are not short of glorious sweet things to end off a meal and I could’ve served tiramisu or panna cotta or semifreddo but what my heart really wanted was light and fluffy Bombolini (Italian doughnuts) filled with raspberry mascarpone. And because I surround myself with people who are equally entranced by doughnuts, my guests pretty much fell over themselves to have seconds (and thirds). These doughnuts are as light as a feather and the raspberry-mascarpone filling is absolutely dreamy. So creamy with just the right amount of tartness added by the raspberries. It’s the perfect way to end off a meal.

Italian bombolini with raspberry mascarponeAll-in-all, it was an absolute beaut of a feast and with Galbani as the centerpiece of it all, my guests and I indulged in the most glorious way. Buon Appetito!

Galbani mascarpone

How to host an Italian feast
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An antipasto platter is the perfect start to any meal plus it's so easy to throw together.
Recipe type: Starter, Appetizer, Antipasto, Italian
Serves: 4-6
for the marinated mozzarella
  • Galbani fresh mozzarella
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • pinch of salt
for the Antipasto platter
  • Olives
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks
  • salami
  • marinated artichokes
  • peppers/peppadews
  1. To make the marinated mozzarella, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and allow the mozzarella to marinate for 30 mins-1 hour.
  2. To assemble the antipasto platter, group all the ingredients together on a big platter/wooden board and serve.
How to host an Italian feast
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Crisp bottom, two types of mozzarella, salami, artichokes and sun dried tomato pesto. What more could you are for in a pizza?
Recipe type: Pizza, Pizza dough, Italian
Serves: Makes 4 large pizzas
for the pizza dough
  • 1kg bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 600-700ml warm water
  • 1x 10g sachet instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
for the toppings
  • 2 cups roasted tomato sauce
  • 1 ball Galbani fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Galbani mozzarella
  • thinly sliced salami
  • marinated artichokes
for the sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • small bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil (more if you want your pesto a little runnier)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a jug, mix the warm water with the yeast and sugar and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the water and the olive oil into the flour and mix until you have a sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in volume.
  5. When the dough is risen, knock it down and form 4-6 balls, depending on how large you want your pizza to be. At this stage you can freeze the dough balls, in freezing bags, for use at another time.
  6. Place the balls of dough on a floured tray and allow to rise for another hour.
  7. To make the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend, I like my pesto to have a fine texture but not be completely pureed. Set aside.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to its hottest setting and place a pizza stone/large baking sheet in the oven.
  9. Roll out the dough balls until as thick as you like then top with a little sauce, the grated mozzarella, salami, artichokes, fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of the pesto.
  10. Carefully transfer to the hot pizza stone/baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  11. Remove from the oven, allow to chill for a minute or two then slice and eat.
How to host an Italian feast
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Light and fluffy Italian bombolini (doughnuts) stuffed with raspberry mascarpone is the ultimate treat.
Recipe type: Doughnuts, Bombolini, Italian doughnuts, Italian food
Serves: Makes 6-8 doughnuts
  • 500g cake/all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 300ml warm full cream/whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1x 10g sachet instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
for the mascarpone-raspberry filling
  • 1 tub Galbani mascarpone
  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 1 cup mashed raspberries
  • 1 cup caster sugar, for dusting
  1. To make the bombolini dough, combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. In a mixing jug, combine the warm milk with the sugar and yeast. Mix and allow to stand until frothy.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the flour and salt and mix with the dough hook attachment until combined.
  4. Knead the dough in the machine for a minute then add the butter, one cube at a time, until incorporated.
  5. Knead for another minute then remove the dough and place in a greased bowl. Cover with cling wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  6. To make the mascarpone-raspberry filling, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. When the dough is risen, transfer to a floured surface and press into a rectangle of approximately 2cm height.
  8. Cut out circles with a cutter/glass.
  9. Heat a large pot of oil until hot.
  10. Carefully place the dough circles into the oil, flipping them immediately. This allows them to cook and brown evenly.
  11. When the doughnuts are golden brown all over and cooked through, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  12. Roll the doughnuts in caster sugar then allow to cool.
  13. Place the mascarpone mixture in a piping bag fitted with a nozzle and fill the cooled doughnuts.
  14. Serve.

This post was sponsored by Galbani. All words, opinions and images are my own. 

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