Ferragosto and my Recipe for A Tuscan-Style Sandwich

Tuscan finocchiona, pink grapefruit, sweet cheese and a simple avocado sauce. Whole grain bread, toasted slightly. The sandwich is ready.

“How good is this sandwich?” said my husband Guido.

I’ve always thought that food, like wine, connects kindred spirits. I could never have built a life together except with someone who, like me, loves food, the comfort that it brings and who recognizes in it roots, traditions, pieces of life.

I prepared this sandwich at the end of July, to have time to photograph it and with the intention of sharing on the blog this simple preparation in view of the mid-August, when in Italy celebrate Assumption Day, called Ferragosto, that is a public holiday.

Around Ferragosto and my Recipe for A Tuscan-Style Sandwich

Around Ferragosto and my Recipe for A Tuscan-Style Sandwich
What I love of Ferragosto
I like the festive atmosphere of the 15th of August.

Since I’ve had the memory, I’ve always spent it at the beach, with my family.
Being a religious feast, my parents would go to mass while we sisters would play on the beach or in the pinewood with our grandmother. Ours was a quiet celebration. The family had a good lunch but without turning it into a banquet.
In the evening we admired the fireworks that lit the Adriatic Coast from Ravenna to Cattolica.

Even afterwards, I always preferred to celebrate the Ferragosto day walking, reading, eating of course. But I have also had a very special day of mid-August!

My Ferragosto with Raoul Casadei

Who knows Mr. Casadei, the Maestro of the Liscio?

Something about Liscio

Liscio or ballo liscio (“smooth” or “smooth dance” but please use the Italian name), is a genre of music originating in the 19th century in the northern Italian region of Romagna under the influence of Viennese ballroom dances including the mazurka, waltz, polka. It’s very popular and there many orchestras that play it. The most famous composer of Liscio has been Secondo Casadei. The first of a family of talented people. And the son Raoul and the nephew are also very famous!

What happened to me many years ago was a unique and wonderful opportunity to participate at the Raoul’s birthday at his own home in the Adriatic Riviera.

I was very excited but, at the same time, hesitant. I had never met him before. But the friend who invited me was very convincing and I thought “when we happen to meet a living myth again?” And so I and Guido, my husband, went.

Around Ferragosto and my Recipe for A Tuscan-Style Sandwich

Raoul is a great musician and a great host. I still remember his musicians working on the barbecue. Raoul wanted Guido to sit to his right and me next to Guido.

He’d talk to everyone without forgetting about us even though he’d never seen us before.
I will never forget the faces of Raoul and Guido when they saw the birthday cake made of Neapolitan baba (who Guido loves!).

Even if babà is a typical Neapolitan dessert, you have to know Mrs. Casadei comes from Campania.

It was a beautiful evening in Romagna with a Neapolitan touch.

Around Ferragosto and my Recipe for A Tuscan-Style Sandwich

My Tuscan-Style Sandwich

What I like of Ferragosto is that everyone celebrates as desired. Some people organize big family lunches, others a picnic.

Every year I celebrate differently. Sometimes I am at home and sometimes on holiday.
Sometimes I make a generous pasta dish, sometimes a sandwich.

PGI Finocchiona is a sort of salami but flavored with wild fennel seeds. Its taste is intense and particular.

I used semi-soft cheese and fresh pink grapefruit. The avocado sauce, I just blended avocado, water, lemon juice, oil and salt, is dense and creamy and combines the other ingredients.

At the end, I think that it is a sandwich to try at least once.

Buon Ferragosto, Monica

Around Ferragosto and my Recipe for A Tuscan-Style Sandwich

Food Tips

You can substitute avocado with a courgette sauce. Blend one or two steamed or raw zucchini with a little natural tofu, oil, salt and lemon.

Put aside a slice of grapefruit and some zests, squeeze the part you don’t use and prepare a water flavored with pink grapefruit to accompany the sandwiches.
You can also add some mint leaves.


2 sandwiches

whole grain bread, 4 slices
1/2 organic pink grapefruit
PGI Finocchiona, 75 g
Galbanino dolce, 4 thin slices
1/2 avocado
1 water tablespoon
olive oil, some drops of lemon juice, fine sea salt to taste


Make the avocado sauce. Blend the pulp with water, lemon juice, salt and oil until it has a soft and fluid consistency.

Peel the grapefruit slices.

Toast the bread to make it crunchy.

Make the sandwich. First of all, add salsa, then add 1 or 2 grapefruit slices, finocchiona, cheese and salsa again.


Sandwich integrale finocchiona, pompelmo, formaggio e salsa avocado

Around Ferragosto. Tuscan Finocchiona and Grapefruit Sandwich Recipe


Have you already taken a look at the Quick Recipes you can find on the blog?



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