Panini Calabrese

panini calabreseYield: 8 sandwiches (scale up in direct proportion)

8 to 12 ounces (about 16 to 24 slices) thinly sliced soppressata (dry-cured Italian salami)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 thin slices prosciutto
8 thin slices fresh mozzarella
8 panini buns or rolls, toasted or grilled
1 cup roasted red bell pepper strips
16 large fresh basil leaves

In a nonstick sauté pan set over medium- high heat, fry the soppressata until lightly crisp and some fat has rendered, about 2 minutes per side. Remove it to a plate.

Lightly brush the buns or bread with extra-virgin olive oil.

Layer each bun this way: the soppressata, 2 slices prosciutto, 2 slices mozzarella, 2-3 strips of roasted red bell pepper strips on one slice of the bread. Top with the other slice and place the sandwich in the pan, pressing down on the sandwich with the palm of your hand. When that side is lightly toasted, about 3 to 4 minutes, flip the sandwich and toast the other side. (Alternatively, use a sandwich press or panini grill.)

Remove the sandwich to a cutting board and open the sandwich. Lay down four basil leaves on each sandwich. Close the sandwiches, then slice them in half to serve.

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