Food writer Alison Roman is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share a few of her favorite easy entertaining recipes from her new cookbook "Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over": spicy marinated feta cheese, a simple iceberg salad with pecorino cheese and spicy pork meatballs with fennel.
Roman's No. 1 rule of having people over? Never apologize. "If something goes wrong, right? 'Oh, I'm so sorry, it's a little salty, it's a little spicy,'" she said. "I feel like we apologize so much, and we're just gonna stop apologizing."
This resonated with both Carson Daly and Al Roker. "This is how we serve it," said Carson. "You just eat it."
"You're here for free!" added Al.
I love this easy appetizer because it has tons of flavor to get your palate going before dinner. It's a little spicy, a bit salty and very saucy. If you put this marinated cheese on crackers or toast, it tastes exactly like pizza!
This is really a great version of a salad you'd get at an Italian red sauce joint. It's crunchy and acidic, which is everything I want to eat with rich and fatty entrees.
This is like a lighter version of a classic red sauce and meatballs — it has the best parts of the sauciness with none of the heaviness. These meatballs and their tomato-y broth really want something to dip in, like simple crusty bread, or perhaps very good garlic bread. They also want some bitter green, which can actually be eaten out of the same bowl, the leaves taking a brief dip in the broth to soften slightly.
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