Then there are the flatbreads: pizza, focaccia, piadina, and all the other delicious variations. Every region has its favorite. Naples is proud of its reputation as the birthplace of the modern pizza, while the Genovese take credit for focaccia. Instead of having the flavoring on top, in southern Italy, savory pies made from two layers of bread or pizza dough baked around a filling of vegetables, meats, or cheese are popular, eaten as a snack or a full meal.
The recipes that follow are just a few of the many possibilities. Few Italians bake bread at home, because every neighborhood has a local forno ("oven"), as the bread bakery is called, where fresh bread is baked several times a day. The breads are made with slowly risen doughs that create complex flavors and good texture and chewiness. Because they are baked in ovens that reach temperatures higher than those in home kitchens, they have crisp crunchy crusts.
The recipes in this chapter work well without a lot of special equipment. However, if you enjoy making yeast breads, it would be worthwhile to invest in a baking stone or unglazed baking tiles. A heavy-duty mixer equipped with a dough hook or a large capacity food processor makes short work of mixing a heavy, sticky dough. A bread machine can also be used to mix and raise the dough, but is not appropriate for baking these types of breads.
I have also included recipes for savory tarts made with cheese and vegetables. These are good for a first course or with a salad for a whole meal.
Sandwiches are popular for snacks and light meals all over Italy. The Milanese have invented the paninoteca, a sandwich shop where you can order your heart's desire of combinations on all sorts of bread, to be served toasted or not. The paninoteca is especially popular with younger people, who stop by for sandwiches and beer.
In other parts of the country, you can eat a panino made with white bread, focaccia, or rolls. The Romans love the thin, crustless tramezzino (triangle-cut) sandwich, while in Bologna the sandwiches are made on rosette, the local crusty rolls. On my way home from Italy, I always leave time for a stop at the airport caffè for a prosciutto and arugula sandwich portare via, "to take away," and enjoy it on the plane home.
Marches-Style Cheese Bread
Golden Corn Rolls
Black Olive Bread
Walnut Cheese Bread
FLATBREADS AND BREADSTICKS
Sardinian Music-Paper Bread
Red Onion Flatbread
White Wine Flatbread
Sun-Dried Tomato Flatbread
Roman Potato Flatbread
Griddle Breads from Emilia-Romagna
Almond and Black Pepper Rings
PIZZAS AND TURNOVERS
Neapolitan-Style Pizza Dough
Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Pizza
Tomato, Garlic, and Oregano Pizza
Pizza with Wild Mushrooms
Tomato and Cheese Turnovers
Sicilian Swordfish Torte
Green Onion Pie
Savory Pie Pastry
Spinach Ricotta Tart
ITALIAN SANDWICHES (PANINI)
Mozzarella, Basil, and Roasted Pepper Sandwiches
Spinach and Robiola Sandwiches
Tuna and Roasted Pepper Triangle Sandwiches
Prosciutto and Fig Triangle Sandwiches
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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