I love Italian food, but I’m not always in the mood for pasta. My favorite flavors are basil and garlic and tomatoes. There is nothing like it. My favorite colors are red and green, so this might have something to do with it . . .
Or maybe I love red and green because I love tomatoes and basil.
I need a therapist to figure that out.
But, let’s not talk about my “issues”. We could be here all day and night.
At least not right now.
Focaccia Bread, or Foccacia Bread (found both spellings in “reputable” places) is the perfect bread for this dish. Focaccia and a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil with some fresh cracked pepper is a great substitute for bread and butter at any meal. Plus the olive oil is good for you. In appropriate proportions – as I always tell myself. Everything in moderation, right?
Anyhoo, I think you will find this an easy, quick, filling delicious meal – or if you prefer, appetizer – for just about any occasion, from a small intimate get together to he-man meal. Really. It’s that filling. And, that good.
Serves 6 as a meal – 12 as an appetizer
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large clove Elephant Garlic, minced
6 1” slices of Focaccia Bread
¼lb. thinly sliced Pancetta
½lb. thinly sliced Roasted Chicken
6 thin slices of Fontina Cheese
1 can diced Tomatoes, drained (or the equivalent of fresh Roma Tomatoes, seeded, drained and diced
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh ground Pepper
Fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Spray extra large skillet with light coating of olive oil. Sprinkle all but 2 teaspoons of the garlic in the bottom of the pan. Add pancetta and cook until light brown. When done, remove garlic and pancetta from heat and let cool slightly. Rough chop pancetta and set aside with garlic.
Brush, drizzle or spray both sides of bread slices with olive oil. Place bread in a large skillet and place on the stove at medium heat. When slightly browned, turn and brown other side. While the second side is browning, place chicken on top of bread. Top with pancetta/garlic mixture. Add one slice of Fontina Cheese to each piece. Remove from stove top and place under broiler in the middle over the oven for 5 minutes – or until cheese has melted thoroughly.
While the bread is in the oven, combine the topping mixture tomatoes, basil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, and 1 tablelspoon olive oil in bowl. Top each piece with mixture. Top with pepper and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Cut in half or quarters for appetizers or serve whole for a scrumptious and filling meal.
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