This is the well-known sandwich of the south of France. Sad to say, but I feel that pan bagna never tastes quite as good anywhere else. But the sandwich is still worth making in Britain, in a hot summer. Pan bagna is ideal for a picnic and children love assembling and especially squashing one. In France a flûte makes a better pan bagna, a baguette is too narrow. For a large number of people I use country bread, like pain de seigle, which is baked in a round or oval shape. These thicker loaves are best cut in three or four layers to make a three- or four-fold pan bagna.
Cut the flûte into two layers, rub
Now build the filling on one half of the loaf: make a layer of sliced tomato and strew
Place the other half of the loaf on top and wrap the sandwich in foil and then in a clean teacloth. Place the pan bagna on the kitchen table or at the bottom of a cool box or picnic basket. Arrange some books, stones or other moderately heavy weights on top and leave for up to 1 hour, until the filling is pressed into the bread and the flavours of each have blended together. For serving, cut the pan bagna into sections.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.