A recent challenge presented to me was to cook a four-course Italian meal, with wine pairings, for a vegetarian group. It's not often that I'm asked to prepare a vegetarian dinner. Even being a recovering vegetarian myself, I still find it difficult to wrap my brain around a meal that excludes meat in all forms. Also, we often don't realize how many dishes contain meat as a secondary ingredient, such as a chicken stock added to a risotto or pancetta in any number of Italian sauces. Outside of the Vegetarian Italian theme, the cuisine itself was left entirely up to me.