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Grilled Pizza Panini

MAKES 1 SANDWICH

In Italy at lunchtime it is very popular to have crusty grilled sandwiches, panini alla griglia. Be sure to use good, country-style bread with a coarse crumb and the best fillers you can find. It also helps to have a panini maker, but if not, use a non-stick skillet and be sure to season the pan well with olive oil or butter so the bread will toast evenly and not burn. As the sandwich browns, use a spatula to press on it to help maintain contact with the pan.

Ingredients

2 slices good whole grain bread

1 small ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

10 — 15 slices thinly sliced pepperoni, about 1/3 cup

1 small plum tomato, seeded and sliced thinly into rounds or leftover tomato sauce

Drizzle of Filippo Berio olive oil

Directions

Drizzle olive oil on one slice of bread and, on top of the oil, place two or more slices of mozzarella and top with the tomato slices or leftover sauce. Cover tomatoes or sauce with pepperoni, then the final two or three slices of mozzarella. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and top with the second slice of bread.

Place in a panini maker or electric counter-top grill, pressing the sandwich periodically until both sides are crusty and brown. If making in a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a non-stick sauté pan; when it begins to sizzle, add the sandwich and weigh it down with a grill press or cast-iron pan. When brown on the bottom, turn it over and brown the other side.

The recipe is featured on show 1723, Grilled Sandwiches — Panini Assortiti alla Griglia.

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