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Tuscan Touch

Pasta Piatti blends dishes from past and present in a Tuscan-themed atmosphere. Classics include eggplant Parmigiana, lasagna and minestrone while New World Italian cuisine takes the form of Italian-sausage burgers and limoncello-glazed steelhead.

Artisan pizzas — available on 10- or 18-inch, hand-tossed crusts — tempt with creative topping combinations. The Oregon marries pears, walnuts, bacon and Gorgonzola dolce atop white sauce; the Verde features sliced Brussels sprouts and shallots; and white-truffle oil highlights the Bianco con Funghi's wild mushrooms.

Many dishes are budget-friendly in portions that invite sharing. Chef Tom Beam shares some of his recipes on the restaurant's website, and the operation logged a perfect score on its most recent Jackson County health inspection in February.

Recommended: Squash fondue is a delectable starter that tops half of a roasted acorn squash with ricotta, caramelized onions and Granny Smith apples, pumpkin seeds and maple syrup, served with toasted focaccia and cranberry relish; angel hair pasta simply sauced with tomato sugo, shredded organic basil, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil is a mouthwatering delight; pizza with thinly sliced, house-made meatballs, shaved shallots, tomato sauce and mozzarella is one of nine specialty pies; roasted turkey-club panini touts slices of oven-roasted turkey breast, applewood-smoked bacon, romaine and sliced tomatoes, along with thin layers of rosemary aioli and pesto, on focaccia.

Alternative diets: Six vegetarian appetizers, three vegetarian soups, pizzas and pasta dishes, five wheat-free pasta dishes; soy pizza crust available for $2.95 additional fee; most dinner items can be prepared wheat-free; organic mixed greens and other organic vegetables when available.

Beverages: Wine list focuses on Italian reds by the glass and bottle; local labels strongly represented with some other domestic wines by the glass, bottle and half-bottle; Italian sparkling wines by the bottle, and port by the glass and bottle; domestic and imported, bottled beers; four rotating draft beers; mineral and bottled spring waters.

Price range: Appetizers, $2.95 to $12.95; soups, $6.25 to $6.95; salads, $6.25 to $10.95; panini, $8.75 to $9.95; pasta, $9.50 to $15.95; pizza, $9.95 to $26; dinner entrees, $14.95 to $18.95; vegetables, $4.25 to $6.25; desserts, $4.25 to $6.75; add-ons, $2.95 to $7.95.

Extras: Outdoor seating available on deck overlooking downtown's main drag; free delivery within Ashland; parties of six or more subject to 18-percent gratuity; limit two credit cards per table (Visa and MasterCard accepted).

Serving: From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. (Some menu items not available after 4 p.m.)

Info: 358 E. Main St., Ashland; 541-488-5493; www.pastapiatti.com.