Book Club Menu ideas...

I am having the book club over to discuss Mona Lisa written by Dianne Halles. We usually do a light dinner and wine. I am thinking apps as I don't want to be in the kitchen too long. Antipasto, Rice Balls with Marcella Hazan's Tomato and Onion Sauce, an Aurgula Salad with olive oil and lemon dressing and perhaps a vegetable frittatta. I am open for suggestions... Any ideas?

Lucia from Madison


Pegeen January 12, 2015
She is believed to be Florentine, not Tuscan.
Pegeen January 12, 2015
She is believed to be Florentine, not Tuscan.
Maedl January 13, 2015
Last time I looked, Florence was in Tuscany. Her family was firmly rooted in Tuscany. Her husband had a "farm" in what I think is Chianti country south of Florence, and that is one of the possible locations of the backdrop of the painting.
Maedl January 12, 2015
I would include schiacciata con l'uva, a focaccia topped with grapes, which is a favorite autumn Tuscan food. I would also try to adher more closely to a Tuscan theme, and serve something other than rice balls, which I don't think are typical in the region. Beans are a favorite--perhaps a pasta-fagioli soup or a farro soup--either are good winter food, easily cooked a day early, and made from readily available ingredients.

I just finished the book and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Pegeen January 12, 2015
Following on AntoniaJames's idea: Maialinio's Olive Oil Cake
from the Genius Recipes hits of 2014

You're going to serve olives, or crusty bread with great olive oil, right? :-)
Pegeen January 12, 2015
Typo: make that Maialino's Olive Oil Cake (not Maialinio)
Lucia F. January 12, 2015
Great idea about the cake. And it is Madison CT!
AntoniaJames January 12, 2015
Sounds perfect! Make a simple cake the night before - one that you'd just dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, with perhaps some Satsumas or similar winter fruit. (Though it's not Italian, I'd make the Santiago almond cake here on Food52.) Your book group is a lucky bunch, indeed. ;o) P.S. Is that Madison, WI? My son graduated from UW-M last spring. Just love Madison and surrounding area, and of course, the people there, and the food!!
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