In Italy, panini are everywhere. In every bar, at any roadside stand and gas station… It is our go to quick fix in between meals, and very often a preferred lunch substitute.
It is true that in general Italian sandwiches are extremely simple; this has to do with the incredible amount of cold cuts, cured meats and cheeses that you can source throughout our peninsula. Good meats and good cheeses do not require much company when trapped between two slices of bread. In Tuscany for instance unsalted bread is the favorite way of preparing most of our panini, that allows us to enjoy the flavor of whatever we put inside at its best.
The following recipe is a Super Tuscan adaptation of my Italian roots to the way I see Americans enjoy their sandwiches. In the land of abundance, where Pastrami Sandwiches are 2 pounds heavy, and where panini are sold based by measure (“Sir, would you like one foot or two feet?”) this should find easily its way to your stomach.
Remember, it is not the amount of ingredients that you use to prepare your sandwich that will satiate your stomach and lighten your spirit, it is more about the combination of ingredients, their different textures the overtone of their flavors and the way you are able to combine different qualities of different ingredients to create your very own mouthful of joy.