My Italian Panini with Prosciutto & Genoa Salami is a simple, filling and delicious grilled Italian Style sandwich combining crusty Italian bread, creamy ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced prosciutto, Genoa salami, fresh tender baby spinach leaves, and roasted red peppers.
The first U.S. known reference to Panini dates back to 1956 though a similar version appeared in a 16th-century Italian cookbook, the sandwiches became trendy in Milanese bars, called paninoteche, in the 1970s and 1980s. Many Trendy U.S. hotspot restaurants, in New York, began selling their versions of the Panini.
I don’t know about you, I love a good filling lunch of delicious quality Italian deli meats and fresh crusty bread grilled to perfection, and really do not always care to dine out, so making my version came about after not feeling like vacating my home to hit up our neighborhood deli when I lived up North.
Panini Sandwiches can be so versatile, so you can pretty much change it up in a second flat to suit your own tastes. Below, you will find my version of a favorite Panini made by my favorite deli in the 90’s. The ingredients should be fresh, and, of course, top quality for maxim taste and enjoyment.
Italian Panini with Prosciutto & Genoa Salami
- 1 loaf of fresh crusty Italian bread
- 6-8 ounces of whole ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese
- 8 slices of quality Prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 16 slices of quality Genoa Salami
- 2 cups of fresh tender baby spinach leaves
- 1 roasted red pepper, sliced
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- Balsamic vinegar, optional
- authentic olive oil, optional
- fresh ground pepper, optional
- Heat a Panini grill to medium-high heat
- Slice open 1 loaf of fresh crusty Italian bread down the side.
- Spread 6- 8 ounces of ricotta cheese evenly down the Italian bread.
- Thinly slice 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, evenly distribute 1/2 of the sliced mozzarella the cheese on one side of the bread.
- Place 8 slices of quality Prosciutto thinly sliced on top of the cheese.
- Place 16 slices of quality Genoa Salami on top of the quality Prosciutto.
- Slice 1 roasted red pepper, layer on top of Italian deli meats.
- Distribute baby spinach leaves evenly across the length of Panini.
- Add 8 fresh basil leaves down the length of the sandwich.
- Drizzle a very small amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil on bread, optional step.
- Place remaining thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese on the top side of the Panini.
- Season with fresh ground pepper.
- Slice into desired portions.
- Place on hot Panini grill and grill till Panini sandwich becomes evenly flattened and lightly crisped, careful not to burn, the cheese should be fully melted by the time the sandwich is lightly browned and crisp.
- Slice each portion or sandwich diagonally and serve immediately while hot.
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