1 head romaine lettuce
usually only 1 head, have another just in case
white albacore tuna
two 16 ounce cans
roasted red peppers
one 15 ounce jar
12 oz pepperoncini peppers
Fresh Italian parsley
for garnish
9 whole hard-boiled eggs
sliced in half
two 4 ounce cans, rolled with capers
8 oz black olives
8 oz green olives
1/2 lb Genoa salami
sliced thin and rolled, could also use cotto salami, capicola, or soppressata
1/2 lb prosciutto
sliced very thin and rolled
artichoke hearts
one 12 ounce can
one 7 ounce can
1/2 lb Cheddar cheese
sliced into .5 x 2 inch strips
1/2 lb Monterey Jack cheese
.5 x 2 inch strips
olive oil
for drizzling
We were very proud when Mom would make one of her colorful antipasti for church gatherings, but we loved to have them at home, all to ourselves. Mom had learned to make this dish when she married Dad. The antipasto is the first, or appetizer, course in Italian cuisine. The course begins the meal by introducing a variety of tastes, awakening the palate to what will follow. In Italy, the contents of the antipasto vary from season to season, depending on what is available, and the course is often served buffet-style, with many separate offerings. In Roseto, Pennsylvania, the plated antipasto often includes garden vegetables canned throughout the year, and the hostess served the antipasto with drinks while dinner was cooking. Either way, it's easy to do and doesn't involve any cooking. It's perfect if you're hosting guests for cocktails before dinner out.
The key to this recipe is to make the platter attractive and artistic. Line a 12 inch platter (we like a round shape) with the larger lettuce leaves, which will serve as the base of the antipasto as well as a way to measure a portion. (Ideally, a person should be able to pull a whole lettuce leaf off the finished antipasto with a little of everything on top.)
In the center of the platter place the tuna; it's best to use a canned variety so that you can turn the can upside down and remove the tuna intact, retaining the shape of the can.
Add the roasted red peppers and lace them around the platter in a symmetrical pattern, like the rays of the sun.
Continue in the same pattern with the remaining ingredients until the tray is covered and all ingredients have been used.
Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
source: Adriana and Mary Trigiani's Cooking with My Sisters
You can go for more authentic Italian cheeses; we use the "American" varieties for color.

A Tip from Mary: Fresh ingredients are wonderful for this dish, and you can make this ultra-fancy by preparing your own tuna, roasting fresh bell peppers, buying imported olives, and using only Italian cheeses. But if you go to an Italian specialty store and buy products prepared in Italy, you'll make a fine antipasto. And when it comes to the tuna, don't drain it too excessively; you want a little of the flavor that comes from the oil.