Italian Grilled Cheese

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

Italians would probably use pancetta in this sandwich, which is traditionally unsmoked cured pork belly. Feel free to use it if you’d like, but the homemade smoked porchetta makes a huge difference with its touch of smoke and herbal notes. The pickles in this sandwich also add much-needed acid to the richness of the cheese and bacon.

Ingredients

  • cups (135 g) shredded Gruyère cheese
  • cups (135 g) shredded fontina cheese
  • ½ cup (115 g) soft unsalted butter
  • 8 slices ciabatta bread, ½ inch (12 mm) thick
  • ½ cup (115 g) coarsely chopped Hot Italian Pickles (Giardiniera)
  • 8 slices Smoked Porchetta, cooked until crisp and kept warm

Method

In a medium bowl, combine both the cheeses. Butter 4 slices of the bread on one side, each with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Divide the cheese and the pickles among the 4 remaining slices of bread and top with the buttered bread, butter-side up.

Preheat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Cooking the sandwiches one or two at a time, put them into the pan, butter-side down, and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Just before turning, spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over the top of each, and using a spatula, flip the sandwiches over and continue cooking until the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted, about 3 minutes longer.

Lift up the top slice, add 2 slices porchetta to each, and return the slice and press down to adhere.