Ciao Italia Family Classics
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
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Makes 1 filled bread which serves 8
1 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted
1 cup green olives in brine, drained and pitted
2/3 cup sliced fennel bulb
½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 small sweet red pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped mixed fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley, and fennel leaves
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt to taste
1 loaf Nonna’s Sponge Dough bread
¼ pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
1/3 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
1/3 pound thinly sliced capicolla
½ pound fresh or packaged mozzarella, sliced
½ pound thinly sliced provolone
Put the olives, fennel bulb, marinated artichokes, and pepper strips, in a food processor and coarsely chop. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the garlic, chopped herbs, and olive oil. Blend well and season with salt. Cover the bowl and set aside to marinate for several hours.
With a bread knife, cut ½ -inch lid off the top of the bread and set aside. With your fingers, pull out the interior crumb of the bread, leaving about a ¾-inch-thick shell. Reserve the inside of the bread for another use, such as Homemade Bread Crumbs.
Spread half the marinated salad ingredients evenly in the bottom of the bread shell. Layer the meats and cheeses alternately on top of the salad. Spread the remaining salad over the top. Replace the bread lid. Wrap the bread tightly in aluminum foil. Place a heavy weight such as a cast-iron skillet or two clean bricks on top of the bread and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours or, even better, overnight.
An hour before serving, remove the foil and place the pitta on a serving plate. With a bread knife, cut it into wedges while it is still cold (this will ensure neatly cut wedges). Let come to room temperature before serving.
Variation: Instead of flat layers of meats and cheeses, make rolled layers by rolling slices of the cheeses and meats together into cylinders.
This recipe is featured on show 1915 - Cooking Live with Rocco DiSpirito and Michael Luboff.
This recipe is from WHAT YOU KNEAD by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1997.
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