Lets talk about paninis. You know–hot pressed sandwiches. Oftentimes when we think of paninis we think of needing a panini press. Well, for this recipe you don’t need a press, you just need your two hands.
So several years back my husband and I went to an Italian cooking class. We were there to learn how to make focaccia bread by hand and traditional Italian paninis. This wonderful Italian woman teaching the class told us in Italy they don’t use panini presses, they use their hands and press the sandwich together after it comes out of the oven. Of course my husband had taken me to this class because he just bought me a panini press. His comment after this was of course, “well, I didn’t really need to buy you the press, did I?”
Well for starters we do use that panini press quite often, however, you can only make a couple of sandwiches on it at a time. Also, it doesn’t work well when you are trying to feed a small crowd. So often when we are having guests over, I go back to this way of making paninis. Simple! Because I can make a lot more all at once.
- 1 pint of tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1(8oz.) container of marscapone cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup gorgonzola cheese
- ½ cup of pecorino romano cheese
- pesto, your favorite brand or homemade
- large loaf ciabatta bread
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a rimmed baking stone, add your tomatoes and olive oil. With your hands, toss the tomatoes and olive oil making sure to get all of the tomatoes coated with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Place pan in oven and allow to cook 10-15 minutes. The tomatoes are roasted when they start to split open and are starting to wrinkle.
- While your tomatoes are roasting, mix together the 3 cheeses in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cut your ciabatta bread in half lengthwise. Lay the bread open and spread a generous amount of pesto on the top slice. If you like pesto, I really don’t think you can ever use too much. Then spread your cheese mixture on the bottom half.
- Once your tomatoes are done roasting, place them on top of the cheese mixture. Put the top half of the loaf on the bottom half and press together. Transfer to a baking stone.
- Bake sandwich in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is starting to melt along the edges. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Slice into 1 inch slices and serve warm.
(Originally Posted: March 25, 2014)