Labor Day Weekend

As it is a holiday which is supposed to honor our hard efforts at work on a daily basis, it seems like it should be best celebrated by working together to maximize the amount of time to relax. Throughout the weekend and now into the week, we have tried to capitalize on this. To start our the weekend my husband and I, strangely without both kids for the day, headed to the grocery store together to get the ingredients for his “Fieti” style Italian Panini and our Sunday dinner, Low Country Boil for 11.

After watching more than a few episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives he had a craving for a spicy Italian sandwich with a spicy dipping sauce. The final sandwich barely fit on our panini press. 

Ultimately, we squished it and turned it a couple of times. To finish it off we wrapped it in foil and set it in the oven at 300 for about 15 minutes to ensure it was headed clear through. It was perfect with the Aribiatta sauce. Athough a complete recipe follows, the easy cheat we used was the wonderful marinara sauce from our local Italian restauant (provided as a dipping sauce with their calzones). In a cool pan, I heat oil with 2 cloves of garlic until it’s fragrant then add in a good sprinkling of red pepper flakes, a bit of Italian seasoning, freshly ground pepper,  and then stir in a small can of tomato paste. Once combined I add in the pint of marinara and bring to a simmer.  

 Italian Panini

prep 30 mins ∙ cook 30 mins ∙ makes 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 loaf Italian pugliese bread, cut in thirds (laterally), reserve middle third for another use
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Sage, fresh, coarsely chopped
  • ½ lb. Provolone
  • ½ lb. Capicola
  • ½ lb. Peppered salami
  • 8 oz. Sun dried tomatoes, drained, sliced, oil reserved
  • 8 oz. Roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella, shredded
  • Basil, fresh
  • Arrabbiata dipping sauce

DIRECTIONS

Drizzle the bottom half of the bread with olive oil (from the tomatoes), sprinkle with sea salt and sage. Layered with provolone, capicola, provelone, peppered salami, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, red peppers, fresh basil, and more mozzarella.

Cook for 20 minutes on low in a panini press and then wrap in foil and cook at 300°F for 10 minutes.

Cut into 6 wedges and dip in the warm arrabbiata sauce.

NOTES

The middle third of the bread is unused, it makes a great appetizer with a bit of seasoned olive oil and fresh mozzarella.
Arrabiata Sauce
difficulty Easy
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp basil, fresh, chopped
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 58 ounces crushed tomatoes

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in large skillet, then sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the wine, sugar, basil, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, black pepper. Combine.

Mix in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes (uncovered).

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