Maximum Impact, Minimum Effort: Creating an Impressive Party Spread

There’s a time and place for intensive holiday cooking: maybe you love setting aside a quiet Sunday to bake up a storm of Christmas cookies, or you look forward to dedicating long hours to testing out your grandmother’s elusive recipe for the perfect roast turkey. However, when you’re hosting a holiday party, there’s a good chance you don’t have time to spend ages hovering over a stovetop – and that’s okay! With just a bit of planning ahead, great party food can be effortless. Use these pre-prepped cheats, easy recipes and serving ideas, and you’ll have an impressive party spread in no time!

Cocktail Hour

Welcoming your guests with cocktails and nibbles feels luxurious, but it actually takes minimal effort on your part. First, set up a mix-your-own cocktail station with ingredients for Aperol Spritzes and Negronis – our cocktail kits provide everything you need to wow your friends with stunning drinks.

Then direct your guests to the snacks: a few cured meat and cheese boards, some nuts, antipasti dishes and olives are the perfect way to prep the palate for the feast that is yet to come. Plus, with Diforti’s Italian deli online, you can order perfect pairings of meats, cheeses and antipasti, so you needn’t worry about finding the right flavour combinations yourself. We’ve got you covered, from aperitivo to digestivo.

Serve Yourself

Now for the main course! Preparing a simple make-ahead dish and heating it up when it’s time to eat is a low-maintenance way to provide a show-stopping, satisfying dinner for your guests (and a substantial meal is crucial when cocktails, wine and beer are involved!).

Our go-to dish for holiday parties is pasta al forno (baked pasta). You can prepare a big tray of this pasta ahead of time and simply pop it in the oven just before you’re ready to eat. Choose a tubular pasta shape (rigatoni works well) and boil it until halfway cooked. Mix the pasta with tomato sauce and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, then layer it with mozzarella in an ovenproof dish. Top with extra Parmigiano and fresh basil leaves and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.

Pasta al forno is highly customisable – leave out meat if you’re cooking for vegetarians, or throw in cooked sausage, anchovies or pancetta for a boost of flavour. Add sautéed onions or a big spoonful of pesto to the pasta and sauce before baking for extra depth, or stir in fresh spinach for a bit of green. About an hour before you’re ready to serve, pop the tray of prepared pasta into the oven and bake until the top is golden, bubbly and crisp. Serve with a big tossed salad, set out plates and let your guests help themselves!

Sweeten the Deal

By now, your friends will have likely had their fill of delicious antipasti and cheesy pasta, but there’s always room for dessert. Luckily, preparing a striking pudding doesn’t have to mean heading out to your local Italian delicatessen in London to gather highly specific ingredients for an elaborate homemade cake. It’s as easy as setting out an array of delicious Italian pastries like cannoli and aragostine – or, if you’re really feeling festive, an authentic panettone.

The ultimate strategy for an effortless holiday party is to keep it simple, and Diforti helps you do just that. Plus, as our gift to you, we have some very special offers that will make your entertaining even more effortless:

  • Free delivery when you spend £40
  • £5 off your order + free delivery when you spend £75
  • £10 off your order + free delivery when you spend £100

Take advantage of these impressive deals, and you’ll be the go-to party planner among your workmates, friends and family – just don’t blame us if you find yourself being asked to host a holiday party every year from now on because of your extraordinary entertaining skills!


Leave a Reply