There are two kinds of dependencies for alacarte: “depends” and “recommends”.
Alacarte depends on Python and various Python libraries (which in turn pull in some libraries); the “depends” level says that alacarte won't work without these. APT-based tools won't let you install alacarte without those dependencies. You can ignore all dependencies with
Alacarte depends on gnome-panel (which in turns depends on many other parts of Gnome) at the “recommends” level. This indicates that alacarte is rarely useful without gnome-panel, but can be in some circumstances. Here, alacarte is indeed useful without gnome-panel if you have a different Freedesktop-compliant menu application.
In Synaptic, marking alacarte for installation also selects gnome-panel. However you can go and unmark gnome-panel before applying the changes. There is a preference (in the “General” tab) to “Consider recommended packages as dependencies”.
The key option to add to
So for alacarte -
Given that alacarte is default in standard Ubuntu, can I ask what variant of Ubuntu are you installing alacarte for?
If you are using Xubuntu or Lubuntu - can I recommend an alternative menu editor from the answer to this question. I've found that alacarte doesnt work with both Lubuntu and Xubuntu.
You can download the .deb package (