Written by Rebecca Russell
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There is a tendency, when planning a dinner party, to go overboard with gourmet cooking. If you intend to serve gourmet dishes, it is a good idea to choose one or two exotic items and fill in the rest of the meal with simple favorites. For instance, if your main course includes quail and truffles, perhaps your salad course could be simple spring greens.

Often, there is a need for a hearty, casserole dish for the main course. Casseroles are generally a wonderful choice for these main portions. They are quick, easy to make and you can prepare other foods while they are baking. If your image of a casserole does not scream elegant dinner party, consider creating cavatini for your next meal.

How to Update Cavatini

Cavatini is a casserole made with various types of pasta, meat, tomato sauce and cheese. While this can sound bland and boring, there are certain twists that can be added to create an exotic flavor. Cavatini generally calls for ground beef and pepperoni. Consider a game alternative, such as venison or bison meat, to add a distinct flavor. Substituting shallots for plain onions and fire-roasted tomatoes for regular tomato sauce can bring a whole new life to the casserole.

When serving to your guests, place a portion of the casserole on a bed of steamed spinach for decoration. This will help to give the serving some definition. Garnish with parsley or a sprig of basil and you will serve your guests a delicious, gourmet meal.

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