Back in my country, this delights are very popular and it’s easy to find them in any bakery. We call them “paninis”, which is a derivation of the italian word “panino”, meaning “sandwich”.
Baguette bread is an everyday popular bread in Spain, and the reason why there’s always fresh paninis in any bakery is because it’s a wonderful way to do something tasty with the excess bread from the night before. You just cut it in half and use it as a base for a small pizza of your choice. In Spain it tends to be either cheese and ham, or tuna and olives, but I have seen many other flavors.
My husband loves pepperoni and I had never made paninis for him before, so I thought I could give it a try. He loved them, which in turn makes me a ridiculously happy person.
Let’s get them started!
- 1 soft bread roll
- 3\4 cup tomato sauce (I used tomato passata, with a hint of basil)
- 2 cups grated cheese
- 10 slices pepperoni
- 3 oz ground beef
- sprinkle of grated parmesan
- salt, pepper & garlic powder
Start by looking at your bread roll and tell it you love it. No, I am not kidding. How can you see that sweet, soft fluffy thing and not tell it you love it? Come on! It’s adorable!
Slice the roll in half, trying to keep both sides even in thickness. If one of them is too thin, it will be hell to prepare, everything will spill, and will be very uncomfortable to eat too. I am also telling you that because it happened to me many times, so don’t fear, ’cause I judge you not.
This would be a good time to start cooking the beef. Season with salt, pepper and some garlic powder, and cook until almost brown. You don’t really need to brown it all the way, as it’s gonna be cooked more in the oven.
Now, look at your old second hand metal tray with shame, because it looks dirty even though it’s really not. Preheat the oven at 350, forget all the shame, let’s make something awesome.
Spread the tomato sauce all over the roll. I normally season tomato sauce and let it simmer to thicken and sweeten it, but this one was perfect just as it was.
Also, we were kinda hungry too.
Sprinkle the cheese on your paninis, about 1\2 cup each. You can absolutely put more cheese on those, but I didn’t because I was serving them with a side of cheesy broccoli.
Next, add the pepperoni in one side, and the beef in the other.
Top with the rest of the cheese. You can add some hot sauce in the beef panini, to make it more flavorful. We use Tapatio at home, but I also recommend Valentina very much.
Finish with a sprinkle of powdered parmesan and some oregano.
I know, right? That looks awesome!
Bake until the cheese melts and starts to get crispy. It will normally take 10 to 15 minutes.
And here you go! An easy, quick and filling dinner. Want to see what I served as a side dish for those? Some really nice broccoli with cheese and mashed potatoes! You can see that recipe here.
Enjoy, my friends!