Grilled Cheese Italiano Sandwich with Crispy Salami, Melted Provolone, Fresh Basil and Pepperoncini with Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce
(Makes 4 sandwiches)
8 slices of rustic-style bread, lightly buttered on one side
16 slices of provolone cheese
16 large, fresh basil leaves
24 slices of Italian-style dry salami, crisped (*see note below)
¼ cup sliced peperoncinis
• Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
(*Working in a couple of batches, crisp the salami in a non-stick pan set over medium-high heat for several moments on each side; once crisped, place on a paper towel-lined plate to hold.)
-Place four slices of the rustic-style bread in front of you with the non-buttered side up; add 2 slices of the provolone to each piece of bread, followed by 4 fresh basil leaves per piece of bread, and 6 pieces of the crispy salami per piece of bread; next, top with about 1tablespoon of sliced peperoncinis (or more, depending on your liking), followed by another 2 slices of provolone cheese per slice of bread; cover each with the remaining slices of bread, buttered-side up.
-To prepare the sandwiches, place a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and allow it become hot; working in batches, place a sandwich (or two) into the pan with the buttered-side down, and gently press with a spatula, and allow it to toast on that side for a few minutes, until golden-brown and toasted; flip the sandwich(es) over, press with the spatula, and allow the sandwiches to toast on that side for another few minutes, or until golden-brown on that side, and the cheese is melty and gooey (you can cover the pan while they toast on that second side to help melt the cheese, if needed).
-To serve, cut the sandwiches in half on the bias, and serve with a ramekin of the warm, Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce on the side.
Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce ingredients:
• Olive oil
¼ onion, finely diced
• Pinch salt
• Pinch freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or your desired amount)
¼ teaspoon dry oregano
3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
1 (15 oz) can organic tomato sauce
-Place a small sauce pan over medium/ medium-high heat, and add in about 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil; once hot, add in the diced onion, and saute for about 2 minutes or just until translucent and a very pale golden; next, add in the pinch of salt and pepper, the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, dry oregano and the garlic, and stir to combine, sauteing in the oil for a couple of moments to release the aromas; next, add in the tomato sauce, stir to combine, and allow the mixture to gently simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes; transfer to a bowl or to small ramekins and serve while warm.