Getting Together - Italian or Spanish?

Do you like Italian antipasti or Spanish tapas? Whatever you prefer can be an easy entertaining spread for your next get together.

Italian antipasti:
Prosciutto (you want to have at least a slice per person)
Mozzarella di Bufala (yes, spend a little more but it is so worth every penny, and one ball can feed 6 people)
Green & Black olives
Dry Salami, and slice it yourself as it makes it rustic and homey
Parmigiano Reggiano (true parmigiano is cut with what's called an almond knife, so it is chunky)
Focaccia bread or Italian country bread, thick sliced and toasted
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Marinated Grilled Artichokes
Fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar (aged at least 6 years)

Arrange the meats on a plate surrounded by the bread. Arrange the cheese and veggies on a second plate. Allow for all of your guests to sample the spread free-form (no formal seating is required). Make sure to pair with a lovely bottle of wine (Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Pinot Griggio, and Prosecco all will pair very well with this antipasti).

Spanish Tapas:
Serrano Ham or Ibirico Ham (
Rustic Spanish Bread (can't find one, make one, or just buy Pain Au Levain - it is French but it is a great substitute)
Quince Paste (can't find one? use a fig paste)
Marcona Almonds
Manchego cheese (can be served on its own, but it is divine with the quince or fig paste)
Idiazabal cheese (to be served with roasted red peppers)
Spanish marinated olives
Spanish Olive Oil for dipping
and if you can find canned octopus in squid ink, you will not be disappointed

Serve with some lovely Rioja or Sherry (don't shy away from Dry Sherry, Spaniards love it).

Enjoy your next get together, no matter whether you serve Italian or Spanish, it will be easy and fun.