Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Italian ‘Dagwood’

Bathed bread for dinner! One of my favorites.

Not so tasty sounding in English, but in Italian, or maybe the Provençal dialect of French, I’m not sure, Pan Bagna is a cool meal of a sandwich that can’t be beat.

I make mine a la Gourmet magazine circa 1989 with tuna (from the can – yikes!). I think the more traditional one has cold cuts inside, but this one works well with the sour dough bread and dressing. Maybe someday I’ll try it with fresh cooked tuna.

The bread (we are fortunate to have reasonable bakery bread available) is bathed in a wonderful vinaigrette of basil, Dijon, garlic, lemon juice, virgin olive oil, anchovies. Lots of strong flavors. All good!

And stuffed with more veggies than you can imagine will actually fit. Every time I make this, I am sure the top will never actually go on.

But go on it does. I stuff it in, and weight it down, chill it, and a few hours later, the original Italian ‘bigger than your mouth’ Dagwood-style sandwich is ready to eat. A meal all by itself.

And a cool one, perfect for hot evenings when you don’t want to be sweating over a hot flame.

Just a short post toady, ‘cause we got a big one for tomorrow (4th of July!).

Pan Bagna
Gourmet Magazine, July 1989
Transcribed and adapted by surfindaave

½ cup red wine vinegar
6 anchovy fillets, minced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
½ to 1 cup virgin olive oil, to taste (I like mine less oily)
salt, pepper
two 8” round loaves of crusty bread
2 cups thinly sliced radishes (sounds like a lot, but they all fit!)
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, left whole
1 cup minced onion, soaked in ice water for 10 minutes, then drained and dried well (I put it in some cold water and in the freezer for a while)
three 6½ ounce cans of tuna, packed in water, drained and flaked
4 roma tomatoes, pip removed, and sliced thin

In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, anchovies, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and add the oil slowly in a stream while whisking vigorously, until emulsified.

Halve the breads horizontally. Hollow out the tops and bottoms, leaving a good ½ inch shell, and avoid making holes in the shell. Spoon ¼ of the dressing into each of the four shell pieces, covering the entire inside of each top and bottom.

Arrange ½ the radishes in each of the bottom shells. Cover the radishes with ¼ of the basil per shell. Sprinkle ½ of the onion on top of the basil in each shell. Arrange ½ of the tuna on top of the onions on each shell. Place ½ of the remaining basil on top of the tuna on each shell. Top the basil with ½ of the tomatoes on each shell (it will be a pile, but it will fit!). Place the top shell carefully over each bottom stack, completely covering the filling. Press firmly.

Wrap the filled breads tightly in plastic wrap. Place them on a flat baking pan, set another baking pan on top, and weigh them down with several 2 pound weights. Chill the weighted sandwiches for at least one hour, and up to one day.

Carefully cut the pan bagnas into 6 wedges each. Serve. Enjoy!

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Blogger Derek said...

That is one tasty looking sandwich.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to make this regularly in the summer years ago. In a fit, I donated all my Gourmet year books and forgot to write down the recipe.

This morning I awoke with a taste for the sandwich, as it has been hot. I am so grateful that you published the recipe.


11:49 AM  

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