Go ahead: Skip dinner. Italians do this often, particularly on carefree summer evenings when hovering over a stove is the furthest thing from anyone's mind. Of course, no one goes hungry. Not with an irresistible array of light, bright antipasti to choose from. These appetizers bear little resemblance to their American descendants, those ho-hum platters of salami and provolone. Italian antipasti, in all their delicious guises, are colorful quilts of diminutive dishes -- leafy salads, fried fish, marinated vegetables and olives, and countless other eye-catchers -- that blanket restaurant bars and call out to early-evening cravings.
In Italian homes, too, a social snacking ritual gets under way at the twilight hour. The official role of an antipasto is to spark the appetite (the word means "before the meal"). But consumed to the tune of conversation and clinking glasses, the morsels can morph into a marvelous meal of their own. Friends drop by, wines are uncorked, pantry andRead More »from Sick of Cooking? Skip Takeout and Try This Classy Dinner Instead