Our downstairs neighbors invited us to spend a weekend with them and a group of their friends in Tuscany. Since we lived in Rome for three years, we had been to Florence and had traveled through Tuscany…but to get to go with a group of Italians who really know their food…this was a wonderful opportunity and we jumped at the chance.

We ate our breakfast and dinner in this castle near Siena-how cool is that?

My good husband took photos at most of our meals and I thought you might enjoy seeing some authentic Tuscan dishes. I’d love to have you comment (below) on which dish looks most appealing to you AND WHY. Those who cast their vote for one of the dishes shown here will be automatically entered into a drawing for a free copy of Around Our Table. (If you already own a copy, it makes a great gift!)

I recommend not looking at these photos if it’s almost time for lunch…you might drool right on your desk and that wouldn’t be too pretty!

Toscanan Antipasta - Typical Tuscan Appetizer with prosciutto, bruschetta, liver pate, salami and cheese

Pappardelle con Ragu - Pappardelle Pasta with Meat Sauce

Ravioli con Ricotta e Erbe - Ravioli with Ricotta and Herbs

Ziti con Pomodori Freschi - Ziti Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes

Ravioli con Gamberi - Ravioli with Shrimp

Risotto con Asparagi - Risotto with Asparagus

Branzino con Carciofi - European Seabass with Artichokes

Salsiccia con Fagiolli - Sausage with Cannellini Beans

Polpette di Patate con Prosciutto - Fried Potato Balls served with Ham

Formaggi con Marmelata e Miele - Cheese Plate served with Jam and Honey

Insalata Caprese - Caprese Salad with Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Panna Cotta con Fragole - Panna Cotta with Strawberries

Torta con Pistacchi - Cake with Pastachios

Tiramisu - Literally this means “pick me up”

Delizia di Fragole con Siroppo di Fragole e Siroppo di Cioccolato
A type of Pudding served with Strawberry Sauce and Chocolate Sauce

Souffle di Cioccolato con Cioccolato Bianco e Nero - Chocolate Souffle with White and Dark Chocolate

Gelato - Ice Cream

Espresso - Coffee

I was wondering why I had so many photos of desserts…but I realize the desserts are more about presentation than many other dishes are. I hope you didn’t think I ate all of these dishes! Some were ordered by others in our group!

Italians love lingering over a meal. I loved spending time with them, getting to know them better and sharing their love of good food and life.

Remember to comment (below) on which one was your favorite…and I’ll announce the winner of Around Our Table by Easter Sunday.




  1. 3-23-2012

    Hi Debbie
    My favorite is the Toscanan Antipasta- first it just looks so appealing and refreshing. Makes me feel like I can linger over a plate like this awhile and take my time enjoying it. (Unless I’m starving) The presentation looks beautiful and the it looks quite inviting and appetizing. Little delectable morsels.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Sonia Cortes

    • 3-23-2012

      I agree, Sonia! The light, too, makes the appetizer look so good! I appreciate your commenting on the photo-and I wanted to make sure you realized that the contest for the free cookbook was LAST Easter, not this one. We’ll be going to Como, in northern Italy, with this same group of Italian friends in about a week. Hopefully we can take more photos of the food-and I’ll post them on my blog. Ciao!

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