great Italian sandwich
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 shallot, peeled, halved
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
parmesan cheese rind
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, very finely chopped
1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus additional for sautéing meatballs
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat, ground
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons parmesan garlic marinade
½ cup day old Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus ½ cup coarsely grated
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped plus additional for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, plus for garnish
12 (1/2-inch) pieces fontina cheese
Italian seeded or plain rolls, sliced through top and opened like a boat
- Pour tomatoes and juice into a medium saucepan. With hand, crush each tomato.
- Add shallot, butter, salt, sugar and cheese rind; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare meatballs. Brown mushrooms in olive oil until they have released their liquid; cool slightly. Gently, but thoroughly, combine mushrooms, chicken, sausage, marinade, breadcrumbs, ¼ cup finely grated parmesan, egg, pepper, basil and parsley.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out 12 leveled portions of meat mixture.
- Dampen hands with water and form each portion into a meatball pressing one piece of fontina into the center wrapping the meat around the cheese.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
- Sear meatballs to a golden brown, turning as needed. Add browned meatballs to sauce. Cover and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Heat oven 350F. Crisp rolls on sheet pan in oven for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Prepare parmesan cheese frico. Pour a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and lightly pat down. Repeat with the remaining cheese, spacing the spoonfuls about a ½-inch apart. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool.
To assemble sandwiches: fill rolls with meatballs. Sprinkle with herbs and crumbled parmesan frico.
- Category: sandwich
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: meatballs, chicken, main dish, lunch, blended mushrooms, recipe contest, cheese