One-Pot Wonders

Crostini alla Romana

February 21, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

This is a family recipe of my Italian husband from Rome. It's an excellent way to use stale bread. The bread is soaked in milk, then cooked with oil in a frying pan; it's crispy on the surface but soft inside—so you eat it with a fork and knife. It's sort of savory French Toast without eggs, topped with mozzarella and anchovy.

Here I used flat leaf parsley, but other fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano and sage also work well.

To serve a crowd, you can finish the dish in 350° F (180° C) oven to melt the cheese so it's nice and bubbly. —Kyoko Ide

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a resourceful and comforting snack straight from Italy, and it's quick and easy to to boot. The fresh herbs complement the anchovies' salty and bold flavor, and the small portion is great for breaking the ice with anchovies before you commit an entire meal to them. It goes without saying that the melted cheese is also a major selling point. The bread is crisp on the outside but custardy on the inside, so that the crostini literally melt in your mouth. —Abbie C

What You'll Need
  • 4 small slices of stale bread
  • 1/2 to 1 cups milk (or soy milk)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 slices of mozzarella cheese (to cover the bread)
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 teaspoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 splash olive oil (optional)
  1. Soak the bread in milk. Depending on how dry the bread is, adjust the quantity of milk and the time for soaking. If the bread is only a day or two old, 1/2 cup of milk and 5 to 10 minutes of soaking should do. If it's quite stale, it can take a few hours in a cup of milk.
  2. Heat a frying pan on medium, add oil, and cook one side of the milk-soaked bread. When it has a nice golden color (about 2 minutes), flip the bread, top with mozzarella slices and anchovy fillets, cover, and cook until the cheese melts (2 minutes).
  3. Sprinkle parsley, a splash of olive oil (optional), and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • aubrey | drum beets
    aubrey | drum beets
  • Kyoko Ide
    Kyoko Ide

3 Reviews

AntoniaJames August 4, 2017
A wonderful alternative to our favorite tartines. Definitely must try . . . . ;o)
aubrey |. February 21, 2014
this sounds delicious! although i think you forgot to add the anchovies to your ingredients list :)
Kyoko I. February 21, 2014
oops, you are right! Thank you for your comment and thank you for letting me know, Aubrey!