3 ratings

Panino della Nonna: Epic Italian Sandwich

This may well be the best panino we’ve ever tried

This panino takes all our favorite Italian ingredients and piles them onto focaccia bread for the most epic sandwich we’ve ever tasted.

This recipe is courtesy of The Kitchy Kitchen.


For the eggplant spread:

  • 1/2 Cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggplants, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 lemon, juiced

For the panino:

  • 1 large slice plain focaccia, halved horizontally
  • 1/4 Cup eggplant spread
  • 8 Ounces burrata, sliced
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 8 slices finochiona
  • 8 slices coppa
  • 8 slices sopressata
  • 2 slices provolone
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1/4 Cup pickled hot peppers, sliced


For the eggplant spread:

Warm ¼ cup of the olive oil in a deep 4-quart sauté pan, until it’s almost smoking. Add half the eggplant and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden and tender, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and the remaining eggplant. Remove from the pan and transfer to the platter.

Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, add the garlic and sauté, stirring often, for about 1 minute, until golden. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes and return the eggplant to the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes, until the eggplant is very tender, almost mushy. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer the eggplant mixture to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly. Stir in the basil, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

For the panino:

Spread one side of the focaccia with the eggplant spread, and the other with the burrata. Layer the prosciutto, finochiona, coppa, sopressata, provolone, arugula, and hot peppers on top. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and press the top half of the sandwich, eggplant spread-side down on top. Slice in half and enjoy.