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 deb package and install them via dpkg using "--force-nodeps" (or something like that) option. You should check it in man of dpkg, I don't remember it exactly now.