Cheesy Pancetta Panini with Rosemary {Panini al Rosmarino e Formaggio}


Bread, Cheese and Pancetta. What’s not to love right? Put it together and you have this small crunchy ooey gooey bite of bliss that’s been kissed with a smidge of rustic woody rosemary. Yes, it’s pretty fantastic and EASY. It’s a great snack, light lunch or an amazing appetizer.

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Announcing: Pasta 101 & Build a Better Panino!

There are so many exciting things going on lately that I wanted to share a few of them with you loverlies…In case you missed my announcement, I’ve joined the featured contributor’s writing team over at babble’s family kitchen. I’m thrilled beyond words and I’m literally bubbling over with ideas, tips, tricks and recipes that I can’t wait to share with everyone. 

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{Not your regular} Roast Beef Sandwich


You might have heard through the web vine about the Mezzetta “Make that sandwich Recipe Contest” or as I like to call it the 2010 Summer Sandwich Smackdown ; ) It’s a contest where YOU create an original sandwich using at least 2 Mezzetta products {for rules/regulations please see their website} and up for grabs is $25,000 yes that’s right not $25, not $250, NOT even $2,500 {which is still a lot of cash these days} BUT a whopping $25,000 baby!

I had so much fun creating my Gaucho Steak Sandwich with Chimichurri Saucelast year, that I decided to do again this year.  The nice folks over at Mezzetta sent me a sampling of their products to help get me started {ehem, disclosure} I toyed around with a lot of ideas but in the end I settled on something a little out of the ordinary.

*drum roll please* Roast Beef with melted provolone cheese. Kissed with a horseradish and caper sauce. Topped with caramelized onions, roasted red bell peppers and crispy fried sweet potato strips! Now that is one mouthful of a sandwich and one mouthful of a name so I’m going with {Not your regular} Roast Beef Sandwich ; )

I love the horseradish and caper sauce. It gives the sandwich a little kick. You can never go wrong with carmelized onions and roasted red bell peppers, swoon. And what’s a warm sandwich without melted cheese?  And the unexpected twist…Crispy Fried Sweet Potato Strings! Everything comes together in one harmonious bite. Albeit a big bite ; )

I have a tendency to come up with ideas {IE: sweet potato strings} and then am left with the task of how to execute them. You know I’m a “how hard can it be” kinda girl. Cutting these into super thin strings would take forever and probably end badly LOL SO I go through my kitchen drawers looking for something, anything that might do the job. After about what seemed like an hour of digging through kitchen tools I see in the back my OXO Good Grips Lemon Zester and I think, that might work ; ) Sure enough SCORE!

I served these sandwiches with some additional fried sweet potato chips! So easy to do, just thinly slice a sweet potato into rounds and fry with the remaining oil from the sweet potato strips ; ) Easy Peasy!

There’s still time for you to come up with your own sandwich creation and throw your hat into the ring! It is the sandwich smackdown after all ; ) What are you waiting for, ENTER today! While you’re there you can VOTE for your favorite celebrity sandwich. The winner will get $10,000 to put towards their favorite charity!
Go ahead and help support a worthy cause {whispering Jamie Oliver & his Food Revolution, Food Revolution, Food Revolution ; ) }

Baci e in bocca al lupo {good luck}!



What you’ll need: {Makes 2 sandwiches}
2 tablespoons Mezzetta Horseradish Cream Style
1/2 tablespoon Mezzetta Imported Capote Capers – drained and minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion – sliced thin
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
8 ounces Mezzetta Deli-Sliced Roasted Sweet Bell Pepper Strips
1 small sweet potato – peeled and cut into strings
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 slices of ciabatta bread
8 slices of Roast Beef – sliced thin
2 slices of provolone cheese

What to do:
1. Into a small bowl add the Horseradish sauce and minced capers. Mix well to combine. Set aside.

2. Into a medium saute pan, add the olive oil and sliced onions. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Mix well to combine. Cook over low heat until caramelized. Stirring every so often.

3. WHILE the onions are carmelizing, slice the sweet potato into strings. NOTE: to achieve this I used an OXO Good Grips lemon zester. Into a small saute pan add your vegetable oil and heat until you have small bubbles on the sides. CAREFULLY add the sweet potato strings and fry until golden and crispy {this will just take a minute} Using a slotted spoon transfer sweet potato strings to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

4. Once the caramelized onions have cooked. Transfer them to a small bowl. Into the same pan, add the roasted red bell peppers and cook until they are just heated through. Set aside.

5. To assemble sandwiches: spread the horseradish/caper sauce onto the tops of each piece of bread. Top with 4 slices of Roast Beef and a slice of Provolone. Place the bottom  half of each sandwich into a toaster oven or into the oven and allow cheese to melt. Toast the top halves of the bread at  the same time. Top the roast beef/cheese with caramelized onions, roasted red bell peppers and a sprinkling of the fried sweet potato strings. Top with the remaining piece of bread.

Buon Appetito!

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Mozzarella in Carrozza {Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches}


Saying this is just a grilled ham and cheese doesn’t do it justice at all. Yes, it has cheese {ah-mazing ooey gooey fresh mozzarella cheese} and yes it has ham {glorious prosciutto} and yes there’s bread. But the magic is in the preparation and in the ingredients themselves. I had forgotten how much I loved these simple little treats. They’re perfect for lunch or a quick snack in between meals. We start out by removing  the crusts from the bread {seems much more elegant that way, no? LOL} and then a layer of bechamel is spread on. Nice, eh? Then you add a layer of prosciutto and basil leaf and a mozzarella slice that is equal to the thickness of the bread for extreme cheesy goodness. Can you almost taste it? Grill it like that would be quite a tasty sandwich but we’re not stopping there.

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Gaucho Steak Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce


I have been feeling like the Beef Category needs a little attention (yes, I realize there is only ONE lone beef recipe there) so here is another addition to the category. I think you’re going to like it. This one was inspired by a recipe contest put out by Mezzetta. The contest was to create a sandwich (either hot, cold or vegetarian) that had to contain at least two of their products. Easy enough!

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Gigi’s Monte Carlo Sammie


Before I get started let me just say that this is one AMAZING sandwich. It’s right up there with my love for my strawberry nutella panino & that’s saying a lot.

Hubs & I were eating at Gigi’s one day & I was looking over all of his open face sammies for lunch & saw the Monte Carlo (spotlight coming down & music playing now) and after I read through all of the ingredients I knew I had to try it.

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