The Classic Italian Meal
The “classic” Italian meal is composed of the following elements: a first course (a soup, a pasta, or a risotto), the main course (meat or fish with a vegetable), followed by salad, and ending with the dessert. Of course, this order is not a hard-and-fast rule. Sometimes the pasta can be a separate course following the first course that is served prior to the main part of the meal. Likewise, the risotto is often used as a side dish to the main meal, instead of as a first course. In many homes the salad may be eaten prior to the main meal instead of after it, and obviously, pasta can often be served as a main dish all on its own. While a formal Italian restaurant may offer the full menu of traditional courses, a family will often customize the order to accommodate their time, mood, or budget.