We don’t need an excuse like the Disney+ live-action premiere of Lady and the Tramp to get out the pasta and wine. But, it’s definitely easier to justify when its in the name of a Disney Dinner Party! With the cozy season arriving there is nothing like lush knits, dogs by your side and a bowl of steaming pasta for dinner. Here’s everything we pulled together for our bella notte with the new Lady and the Tramp for a quiet Disney Plus evening at home.
This post includes affiliate links to help fund our Disney travel and coffee addiction; which we share with you weekly. As an Amazon Associate, and affiliate publisher we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases and will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking the links.
Lady and the Tramp on Disney+
Is there anything sweeter than that pasta scene in Lady and the Tramp. While we anxiously await to see how the live-action dogs pull off this scene, we think the animated version is also pretty inspiring. And to get in the spirit of this fun new flick we have decided to feature a classic spaghetti dish for our Lady and the Tramp Dinner Party. New to Disney Plus? Read all the details here.
Italian Pasta Dinner
In typical Italian fashion, we only like our pasta when it’s cooked al dente. Meaning it’s “almost”cooked, tender, but not mushy. And if we’re using sauce with our pasta, we tend to use a wider pasta like linguine or fettuccine. A thinner pasta will be overwhelmed by sauce and does better with an oil pesto or lemon. To make the pasta, simply grab a 1lb box of dried, or fresh pasta from the store or make your own. Boil pasta in water until al dente, drain through a colander, and immediately run cold water over the pasta while it’s in the strainer. This will prevent it from continuing to cook or sticking together.
Easy Homemade Italian Pasta Sauce
A good pasta sauce can be made many, many, ways depending on your preferences. While a good jar of marinara, or basil sauce works just fine, we also like to mix it up a bit and get a little more creative. We adore the long 4 hour sauce making extravaganza that is Italian cooking, but thankfully, here, we went for simple. For the sauce here, we are aiming for a chunky roasted tomato sauce with lots of Italian herbs. Consider this your “almost homemade” pasta sauce. Grab 2 cans of diced tomatoes without the skin. We are using basil and garlic tomatoes and roasted tomatoes to give it a little more flavor. And 1 jar of chunky tomato sauce, your favorite brand.
Pasta Sauce Instructions
- Open and pour the 2 cans of tomatoes in a 2 quart saucepan.
- Bring just to a boil, and pull from heat. Adjust burner to medium heat or flame.
- While pan is off the burner, take a potato masher or fork and mash, just lightly so that there are still chunks of tomato in the sauce.
- Add the jar of chunky tomato sauce and return to heat and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, covered to prevent splashing.
- While the sauce is reducing, which enriches the flavors and cooks off extra water, prepare the herbs.
- In a prep bowl add 1 tbsp each of rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil. If you’re truly Italian, the tablespoon measure is more like handfuls of whatever you can find from the herb plants in the window. No holds barred.
- Add about 1 tsp each of sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in the herb bowl.
- Once all is combined, add herb mix to the pan of cooked tomatoes, stir in well and adjust heat to low for 5 more minutes.
- Pull off stove and let sit covered while you set the table, uncork the wine, feed the pets etc. The longer the herbs have in the sauce the better the flavors meld.
When making sauce this way it’s all about adjusting to taste. Sometimes you need more sugar or less herbs. Sometimes you need to reduce it for longer.
Quick Italian Dipping Oils and Bread
Every good Italian meal comes with bread and oils. But, what are the best breads to use for dipping? We like crusty breads that can hold their own shape or a feathery bread that soaks up the oil. A good ciabatta bread, Tuscany bread, or french baguette are surefire wins. Or you can get even cozier with Focaccia. We used this recipe and it turned out magnificent! If you’re hesitant about your ability to find these at your grocery store, pop over to a bakery or Panera and ask for a crusty bread.
The Best Italian Table Wine
Go easy on yourself with the Wine Selection here. What you’re looking for is a super simple Italian Red Table Wine. Our Italian grandmother loves a 6 dollar bottle of fizzy sweet red wine called Lambrusco, easily found at any local grocery store. While we’d definitely say a heavy red sauce dish calls for something drier, like a Montepulciano or Sangiovese, the wine is your choice completely.
Biscotti for Dessert
A classic Italian treat this crusty bread cookie is made with almond extract and dipped in chocolate. With a heavy dinner we usually opt for something easy and light. Biscotti and a little coffee or tea after dinner is the perfect treat! It’s also the ideal time to pass along a treat to the pups. We share some favorites towards the end of this post. If buying, instead of making our Biscotti, we like Nonni’s brand best.
Cozy Flannels a la Tony’s Italian Ristorante
Featuring a classic Tony’s feeling we upgraded the regular Italian check tablecloth for something a little more classy and versatile. Instead we used a flannel table blanket in red, black and gray colors. We love that this is technically a blanket we can use throughout the holidays and colder months, while still dressing up the table.
No matter what kind of dinner you’re having, it’s important to only use unscented candles at dinner. Given that you want the food and food smells to be the focus, drowning that loveliness out with a scented candle can be detrimental to your hostess status. We took clear glass hurricanes of different sizes and unscented white candles we got at Target to add some dimension to the table.
Decoration on a dining table should be functional most of the time. Candles to light the meal, a nice charcuterie board to hold foods and toppings. And cute bowls for oils, olives and nuts. For our slightly rustic Italian meal we used a gorgeous artisan Acacia plank from Savannah Bee for holding our breads and oils. And a heavy red glass bowl ( that at one point may have been a candle holder) for shredded cheese to top our pile of pasta
Classic white pasta bowls from Williams Sonoma make a simple addition to the table alongside this silverware. Be aware though that just because pasta bowls are ginormous doesn’t mean they’re meant to be filled with a ton of pasta. Use the extra space for twirling that pasta around your fork, sides and bread.
It’s all About the Disney Dogs
Lets face it. If we’re planning a dinner party around Lady and the Tramp, we’re obviously pet-people.
The Dog Beds
And just loved the excuse to get some new doggie beds that matched our red flannel theme, perfect for the holidays. We grabbed this therapeutic one for our older little shiki, Teddy. Since he has little aches and pains , this is perfect for him to sprawl out and still be supported on the bed while cozy. And we grabbed this adorable Buffalo Check Dog Bed from chewy.com for Hope, Arizona and Teddy to all cozy up in. As a little gift set it came with a fuzzy Sherpa blanket and toy! Another soft, but supportive bed, the dogs loved this early holiday gift! And we love that we now have special holiday gear to bring out for the dogs each holiday season too.
The Dog Treats
If we’re having a special evening the dogs deserve one too! Dog treats can be run of the mill or spectacular. We went for the spectacular variety of Three Dog Bakery Treats found at chewy.com as well. Our little dogs tend to be picky, but these treats hit em out of the ballpark! Known for their vegan, soft baked, no grain treats, Three Dog Bakery does a great job of mixing super healthy with delicious with functional. These soft treats are an excellent alternative to the hard to eat crunchy ones and they just loved them. We also grabbed this super versatile kitchen canister at Target to store the dog treats.