The next Patio Café Cuisine Nights Dining Experience served by the Central Texas College Culinary Arts program will feature an Italian cuisine. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday in the CTC Student Center (Building 106).

Starters

The first part of the menu is the appetizers, soup and salads. The featured appetizer is arancini ($6) — golden fried stuffed spheres made with mushroom risotto, Italian sausage, peas and a three-cheese blend served with a zesty white wine cream dipping sauce. The soup is zuppa di farfalline ($7 for a bowl or $1.50 for a cup with an entrée) — a warming soup reminiscent of lasagna, made with Italian sausage, diced onion, minced garlic, chicken stock, tomato marinara and Italian spices mixed with mini bow-tie pasta and garnished with ricotta cheese and chiffonade basil.

The salads are the house salad ($4 or free with an entrée) and the antipasto ($9) — thinly sliced pinwheels of salami, prosciutto, turkey and provolone cheese on a bed of romaine hearts, baby spinach and iceberg lettuce tossed with garbanzo beans, grape tomatoes. It is garnished with a hard-boiled egg and thinly sliced red onion and served alongside a classic balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Entrees

The evening’s entrees are mama’s manicotti ($13) — baked homemade manicotti stuffed with a creamy filling of ricotta and a blend of Italian cheeses, lightly beaten eggs and fresh chopped spinach. The manicotti is covered with a spiced white wine cream sauce smothered in mozzarella cheese; forno braciole classico ($14.50) — an oven-baked classic roulade of Italian-style beef stuffed with a mixture of spices, bread crumbs, cheeses slow cooked in a homemade tomato sauce and white wine braise; and Pescara pesce ($16) — a sautéed filet of sea bass finished with a roasted red pepper and Italian herb compound butter then garnished with a twist of lemon.

Sides

Each entrée is served with a choice of two side dishes: an Italian vegetable medley — sautéed mushroom, zucchini and yellow squash tossed in olive oil, garlic and herbs; tomato-braised kale — trimmed kale leaf sautéed and braised in garlic, balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce; herbed risotto — Arborio rice cooked in chicken stock and white wine then mixed with basil, parsley and finished with butter to give it a rich creaminess; and roasted rosemary potatoes — oven-roasted potatoes tossed with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Side dishes are also available a la carte for $1.50 each.

Desserts

Finish the meal with a choice of desserts. First is the homemade pistachio gelato ($4.50) — a pizzelle or Italian anise cookie transformed into an edible bowl filled with a creamy pistachio gelato with crushed pistachios then topped with a honey orange sauce and white chocolate shavings. Second is the lemoncello torta ($5) — a fluffy yellow lemon-scented individual cake drizzled with a lemon glaze and garnished with a dollop of Chantilly cream, lemon zest and a sliced strawberry garnish.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling the CTC Hospitality department at 254-526-1515.

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