Host the perfect dinner party this winter with colourful tableware, seasonal florals, and delicious Italian-inspired recipes crafted by plant and pasta connoisseur, Jenna Holmes.
You may know her as @plantmama_ but green-fingered goddess, Jenna Holmes is also the ultimate hostess. Attended by self-confessed foodies such as Zoë Foster Blake, Jessica Nguyen, and Olive Cooke, Jenna’s private (and always sold out) dinner parties, known as Pasta Club, are a gastronomical delight. Catch a glimpse of them on Instagram @pasta_mama_. Pasta Club combines classic Italian meals with what Jenna describes as ‘a curated sensory dining experience’.
Be inspired to host your own pasta-fuelled winter dinner party with these certified crowd-pleasing recipes.
Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto, Buttery Mushrooms and Goat’s Cheese
Crunchy, salty, creamy and ultra-indulgent. Jenna lays out everything you need to prepare a decadent and delicious pasta for your guests.
500g dried pasta
6 slices prosciutto
2 tbs butter
500g mushrooms, diced
2 shallots, diced
3/4 cup grated parmesan
Thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1. Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling, salted water according to packet instructions (reserving 1 cup cooking liquid). Drain pasta.
2. Slice prosciutto into thin strips and cook in a hot frying pan for 2 minutes or until crunchy. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
3. Place butter in a frying pan, add mushrooms (making sure you don’t crowd them) and cook for 4 minutes over medium heat. Add shallots, cooking for a further 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms are browned.
4. Add pasta, parmesan, and 2 tbs reserved cooking liquid to mushroom mixture, stir to combine, and simmer over low heat. You might need to add a bit more cooking liquid if you want more ‘saucy-ness’ (yes, that is a technical @pasta_mama_term).
5. Add 2 tbs thyme and prosciutto to pasta and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Remove pan from heat and divide pasta among plates. Top with a few more thyme leaves and spoon over dollops of goat’s cheese to serve.
Balsamic Beets, Mascarpone and Pistachio Salad
Steer away from the classic side salad and try these crispy balsamic beets paired with creamy mascarpone and moreish pistachios instead.
3 tbs mascarpone
½ cup pistachios, diced
1. Peel beetroot, cut into halves, and place on a baking paper-lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes.
2. Spread mascarpone over the base of a serving bowl or plate.
3. Arrange beetroot over mascarpone and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Sprinkle over pistachio to serve.
VILLEROY & BOCH
Manufacture Rock Blanc Pasta Plate
Lemon, Strawberry and Mint Margarita
No matter the season, a fresh and fruity cocktail is always an entertaining must-have. Fragrant mint and tangy lemon will refresh your palate and liven up the party.
1 cup strawberries, hulled. diced
1 cup lemon juice
½ cup tequila
¼ cup Cointreau
¼ cup soda water or sparkling water
Extra lemon slices and diced strawberries to garnish
1. Place strawberries in a cocktail mixer and muddle with a few mint leaves.
2. Add ice cubes, lemon juice, tequila and Cointreau and shake for 1 minute.
3. Add cocktail mix to a pitcher filled with soda or sparkling water, extra lemon slices and strawberries, and remaining mint. Using a tall spoon, stir to combine.
4. Place ice cubes in serving glasses and fill with cocktail mix.