July 2, 2024

Mortadella Sandwich (Roasted Tomatoes, Stracciatella & Pesto)

I mean… the photo says it all.

Somehow, despite my love for mortadella, it has taken me this long to create a drool-worthy sandwich. You can bet this mortadella sandwich is one to save; with stacks of meaty mortadella, it’s actually the supporting ingredients that allow this meat to shine. Featuring sweet roasted tomatoes, nutty herby pesto, and ooey-gooey cheese, this sandwich is not only drool-worthy but also dream-worthy.

Mortadella Sandwich (Roasted Tomatoes, Stracciatella & Pesto).

WHAT IS MORTADELLA?

Growing up, I LOVED bologna. So much so that to this day, I find myself randomly singing the iconic jingle. Now, don’t get me wrong—I knew what bologna was. I knew that out of all the cold cut options, it was not the best one out there… but I loved it anyway. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I discovered the real thing and a much better replacement: mortadella.

Before you come at me, I am not saying they are the same thing or even resemble each other in flavor. However, they do have a similar appearance and smooth texture. Mortadella is an Italian meat made from pork and pork fat (those little spots on the meat), and it’s commonly seasoned with black peppercorns or pistachios. Mortadella has a mild pork flavor with varying notes depending on the seasoning, which, aside from peppercorns and pistachios, can include cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, to name a few. Overall, it’s savory, a little smoky, and has a hammy flavor, unlike bologna, which is a little sweet and kind of tastes like hot dogs (let’s be real).

Mortadella is a great meat to use in a sandwich like this one, but given its artisanal status, it can also be added to a charcuterie or antipasti board, used to top a pizza, or my favorite—eaten as is.

WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS RECIPE

There are so many good things to say about this sandwich. It is creamy, flavorful, and beyond delicious, not to mention it is ridiculously easy to make. Unlike other mortadella sandwiches on the internet, this one stands out with sweet, jammy tomatoes, thick layers of mortadella, and the cooling and cheesy stracciatella. It is well-balanced and will keep you coming back for more—or if you are like me, dreaming of when you are going to make it again. While it can be scaled down for one, this sandwich is designed to be made for multiple people, perfect for a small gathering.

Mortadella Sandwich (Roasted Tomatoes, Stracciatella & Pesto).

WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR MORTADELLA SANDWICH

  • Mortadella – We discussed mortadella above, but surprisingly, this Italian meat is pretty easy to find. My first recommendation would be to visit an Italian market or deli to get the best quality. That is obviously not realistic for many, so the second option would be to visit your local deli counter. I found mortadella at both Whole Foods and ShopRite. Sometimes, it can also be found pre-packaged near the prosciutto and pancetta. I don’t love this option since the price per pound is often atrocious, but if it’s your only option, it will do.
  • Tomatoes – Slicing, beefsteak, or heirloom tomatoes all work for this recipe. You can even substitute smaller tomatoes, but keep in mind that the cook time may differ from the recipe below.
  • Stracciatella – Did you know that the filling inside burrata has a name? Yes, it’s called stracciatella. To simplify, burrata is a shell of mozzarella filled with curds and cream. The curds and cream portion is called stracciatella.

    If you aren’t a fan of burrata, I still highly recommend trying stracciatella. Personally, it took me a few years to appreciate burrata, and it still isn’t my favorite cheese. Stracciatella, on the other hand, I would bathe in it.
    • Substitute: If you can’t find stracciatella, feel free to swap it out for burrata.
sliced tomato ready to be roasted.

INGRIDENTS CONT…

  • Pesto – I highly recommend making your own pesto. There is something about store-bought pesto that just doesn’t sit in my stomach right. I have a ton of pesto recipes that you can choose from, such as: Rustic Basil Pesto, Spinach Pesto, Broccoli Rabe Pesto, and Kale Pesto.
  • Ciabatta Bread – A large ciabatta loaf is recommended for this sandwich. Not only does the large (approx. 6×12) ciabatta bread yield 3-4 sandwiches, but the bread itself, with its crusty exterior and open crumb interior, pairs so nicely with the components of the sandwich. You could also use 4 ciabatta rolls if you can’t find a large loaf.
    • Substitute: If you aren’t a fan of ciabatta or can’t find it, you can swap it out. Stay away from doughy, soft breads. There is a lot of moisture in this sandwich, and ciabatta works well because of its open crumb and resistance to getting soggy quickly. Another good option is to make this on a crusty baguette.

HOW TO MAKE MORTADELLA SANDWICH

At the end of the day, this is a sandwich, so the recipe is more a collection of ingredients than a composed dish involving cooking and combining flavors. The instructions below and the amounts given are recommendations for the best results, but feel free to adjust as you see fit.

Roast the Tomatoes – Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and place them on a sheet pan. Season generously with Calabrian oil (or EVOO), salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes have wrinkled and become soft and jammy.

ciabatta loaf with the roasted tomatoes.

Prep the Bread – Slice open the bread and toast it for approx. 5 minutes. I do this in a large toaster oven, however it can also be thrown into the oven with the tomatoes for a few minutes to get nice and crispy. Don’t over do this! While you want the outside to have a crunch you still want the inside to be relatively soft.

Assemble the Sandwich – On the bottom layer, add the roasted tomatoes. Next, add the mortadella. I folded each piece and layered them on top of each other, but you can also lay it flat. The photo below shows approximately 1lb of mortadella. This was a lot; my recommendation is 3/4 of a pound for this size bread. Always adjust according to your preference.

On top of the mortadella, add the stracciatella and spread it evenly. On the top side of the loaf, spread a generous amount of pesto. Combine both sides and cut into 3-4 sandwiches.

finished mortadella sandwich.

STORING/REHEATING

This mortadella sandwich needs to be made and eaten immediately, and shouldn’t be made in advance or saved.

July 2, 2024

Mortadella Sandwich (Roasted Tomatoes, Stracciatella & Pesto)

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This mortadella sandwich features sweet roasted tomatoes, nutty herby pesto, and ooey-gooey cheese, making it absolutely drool-worthy.
Course Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Sandwich
Cook Time 28 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb mortadella
  • 10-12 oz stracciatella cheese
  • 4-5 tbsp pesto see body of post for options
  • 1 extra large tomato
  • 1 6×12 ciabatta loaf
  • Calabrian oil or extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and place them on a sheet pan. Season generously with Calabrian oil or extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast for 20-25 minutes until soft.
  • Slice open the ciabatta loaf and toast for 5 minutes, just until the outside is crunchy.
  • Assemble the sandwich: On the bottom layer, add the roasted tomatoes. Next, add the mortadella. On top of the mortadella, add the stracciatella and spread it evenly. Salt the stracciatella if it isn’t already salty. On the top side of the loaf, spread a generous amount of pesto.
  • Combine both sides and cut into 3-4 sandwiches.

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