Described by the White House as “an opportunity to recognize the depth and breadth of our relationship with Italy and exchange views on the future of Europe,” all the stops have been pulled out for this high-profile event, with entertainment from the singer Gwen Stefani and food prepared by acclaimed American chef Mario Batali. Here’s what’s on the menu:
Canapés to start
The delicious-sounding dinner will kick off with an assortment of canapés including fish in a sweet and sour source with eggplant, roasted figs with pesto and little tubes of puréed crab.
A “velvety pasta pillow”
Next up is what the White House menu describes as a “velvety pillow of paper-thin pasta” called agnolotti, which is stuffed with sweet potato, nutmeg, parsley and sage (with sprinkled cheese on top).
The next course is a roasted butternut squash, chicory, pumpkin and sheep’s cheese salad, drizzled with cider vinaigrette. According to the White House, this dish “captures the taste, color, and texture of the season.”
A meaty main course
Now it’s time for the main dish, beef tenderloin layered with bresaola (air dried salted beef), cheese, parsley, garlic and breadcrumbs. It will be served with a rather extravagantly garnished broccoli dish. A veggie option will also be provided.
Sweet tooth time
The meaty main will precede a green apple crostata—in other words, an Italian apple pie. The pie comes with caramel sauce, toffee crumble and buttermilk cream.
Oh wait, even more dessert
As well as the crostata, each table of guests will be provided with a platter of seasonal fruits and vegetables, from both the U.S. and Italy. The dessert includes a pumpkin, milk chocolate chestnuts, grapes, green peppers and tomatoes. There’s also a “beehive replica” (whatever that means!).
And here’s the menu in full:
Prior to the meal, guests are offered an assortment of passed canapés made with fresh ingredients from Mrs. Obama’s final harvest of the White House Kitchen Garden. These appetizers include Hamachi Agrodolce with recently harvest eggplant, roasted figs with speck and herb pesto made from the garden’s cinnamon basil, crab cannolis with homegrown currant tomatoes, and grilled rosemary lamb with freshly picked rosemary.
The first course is a velvety pillow of paper-thin pasta stuffed with a puree of sweet potatoes, garnished with a hint of nutmeg and Italian parsley, and topped with browned butter and sage leaves. The dish is finished with grated Vella Select Dry Monterey Jack cheese from Sonoma County, California, which adds a tangy and salty layer that complements the sweetness of the dish.
The next course is a composed salad of roasted butternut squash topped with bitter chicory, preserved pumpkin, and shaved ewe’s milk cheese from New York. It is drizzled with a raw apple cider vinaigrette made with DaVero extra virgin olive oil from California. This dish captures the taste, color, and texture of the season.
The main course is a Beef Braciole Pinwheel, an Italian Classic with a twist. The prime tenderloin is cut and lightly pounded, then layered with Bresaola, Fontina Cheese, parsley, garlic, and Panko breadcrumbs. It is sliced and served atop broccoli rabe, and garnished with a horseradish gremolata, apple matchsticks, and arugula.
The plated dessert is a green apple crostata. A flaky and delicate pasta frolla crust is filled with a tender semolina batter and a lightly poached green apple. It is finished with a thyme caramel sauce, with thyme from the White House Kitchen Garden, and crunchy toffee crumble, and topped with a creamy quenelle of buttermilk gelato.
Our festive seasonal theme continues with “Celebrating Autumn’s Harvest,” a handmade dessert creation served to each table. This treat highlights the fruits and vegetables of the season for both the United States and Italy. Made of chocolate and sugar, guests will enjoy a platter featuring a pumpkin, cornucopia, milk chocolate chestnuts, grapes, corn, pears, squash, tomatoes, peas, carrots, green peppers, and a beehive replica. The miniature pastry selections include a sweet corn crema and blackberry cup, a Concord grape chocolate leaf, orange and fig slices, a pumpkin cranberry tart, and tiramisu.