An Italian Spring Roll? When I saw David Chang’s recipe in Nov09 Food & Wine, I was reminded of my grandmother’s clever use of Pepperidge Farm Extra Thin White bread for a quick appetizer. She filled them with cream cheese and olives. Instead, I used this wrap as a way to hold together gooey melted cheese and proscuitto. In any case, it’s the sauce that makes this ham & cheese amazing. All inspired by Marcella Hazan’s Little Veal Bundles. —MrsWheelbarrow
serves 6 as a first course
Italian Spring Rolls
slices extra thin white bread
very soft butter
slices thinly sliced proscuitto
slices bel paese cheese
Grapeseed or other tasteless oil, for sauteing the rolls
jar or can of anchovies, drained
canned Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
Make the rolls. Cut the crusts off the bread (good for bread crumbs) and using a rolling pin, roll out until they are smooshed and 4”x4”
Spread butter thinly from end to end on one side of the bread.
Layer one piece of cheese and one piece of proscuitto on the buttered side of the bread, keeping the edges clear. Tightly roll this all up into a “spring roll,” using the butter to help press the roll closed on the ends and along the seal. Make up the rest of the rolls in the same way and chill until ready.
Make the sauce. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and saute the tomatoes. Cook until it’s breaking down and nice and saucy – about 15 minutes.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the anchovies. Mash it all together until you can’t really tell there are anchovies involved.
Add the tomatoes to the anchovies. Stir it all up til it's bubbling, add a liberal grinding of black pepper, add the Marsala & parsley.
Reduce to a nice dipping sauce consistency. Taste and season, if necessary.
Meanwhile, heat 1” of olive oil in a deep skillet. When the oil is good and hot, gently brown the rolls until toasty on the outside and gooey inside. Let them rest for just a moment before cutting into pieces for serving.
Serve plated as a first course. Cut the roll in half, on the diagonal. Puddle the sauce on the plate, placing the two halves of the roll on top.