Easy, everyday italian sandwich known as the panini. Chicken and prosciutto panini make for a delightful meal.
One of my greatest loves in Italy is their food! The back alley cafes off the beaten path were my favorite. A place where hand gestures and broken sentences convey the intentions of others. Where there is literally music in the air as live music is not a stranger here.
Today I share with you my experience with paninis in Italy. They were everywhere in Tuscany and I gift you a secret ingredient one of the purveyors of fine sandwiches uses in his fare. It’s not really a secret when he whispers to any customer who states “Molto Bene! How do you do it?” But as long as he whispers it, I guess it’s a secret.
Lots of rosemary and olive oil is key. It’s amazing how herb infused oil can transform a sandwich. Ciabatta is the best bread for this type of sandwich, it holds up well to the harassment of the panini press. You don’t need a panini press
to make these though. All you need is to add some weight to squish your sandwich down.
The purveyor of fine sandwiches with the secret ingredient? Stefano Ricci, Christiana’s husband at Bar Pan e Vin. If you are headed that way, Christiana rents out small apartments in Corniglia cheaper than a hotel room would cost.
A Tuscan inspired panini with rosemary infused olive oil.
1 Ciabatta bread loaf, sliced into four servings
4 oz Prosciutto
12 oz sliced cooked chicken breast
8 oz Provolone
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs minced rosemary, fresh or dried
1 brick covered in foil or heavy pan such as cast iron
Mix olive oil and rosemary, set aside for a few hours or overnight.
Brush both sides of bread with rosemary olive oil.
Assemble sandwiches with ciabatta, prosciutto, provolone and chicken.
Cook in heavy skillet, cast iron works well, heat on low-medium.
Weigh sandwich down with brick or second heavy skillet or both.
When one side is browned, flip sandwich and re-apply weight.
Sandwich is done when browned, heated through and cheese is melted.
Salami, thinly sliced adds a nice touch of fat and peppery goodness.