Happy Fat Thursday! Pass the Muffuletta.
Well, by now the tourists have mostly filed out of Venice, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro: the streets are being swept clean and Carnival preparations are beginning for next year. But Milan is still going strong! Today the Office of International Mobility at the University of Milan-Bicocca lets its hair down and gets jiggy with a Carnival
In Italy, outside of Venice and Viareggio, Carnival is largely a kids' holiday. They dress up in costumes and attend small parades where float-riders toss candy to them. The holiday really reminds me a lot of Halloween.
This muffuletta sandwich is based on NOLA Cuisine's own version, except that I used my own homemade sourdough bread and had to improvise on the olive salad (really, a giardiniera as far as I'm concerned), also, Danno uses mortadella, which I detest so I went for the cooked ham instead. Also, the bland, Northern Italian "giardiniera sauce" that I added spices to in hopes of replicating the Chicago-style sauce, is a bust. My only consolation is that most of my colleagues are from the North of Italy and seem rather afraid of spice. Above is the finished product already wrapped and ready to go.
Here are the ingredients:
1 1-lb round loaf or boule
1/4 lb salami (I used "salame Milano Negroni")
1/2 lb coppicolla (gobagool) hot or mild
1/4 lb cooked ham, sliced deli thin
1/2 lb mild provolone, sliced deli thin
1 cup giardiniera sauce, hot or mild
5 big lettuce leaves
First, if your giardiniera is chunky, mince the vegetabes finely or whizz in your food processor.
Slice your round loaf through as if it were a huge hamburger bun. Spread 1/3 of the giardiniera over the bottom, and the other 2/3 on the top (makes for minimum oozing). Allow the oil to soak in for about 1/2 hour. Layer the meats evenly then the provolone and finally the lettuce. Bring to your office pot-luck and serve cut into wedges.
**One more boastful note about Chicago street food. The famed muffuletta sandwich is extremely similar to what is known in Chicago as an Italian sub. Salami, gobagool and ham with sliced tomato and shredded lettuce are layered on a length of baguette and dressed with "oil" the oil, however is suspiciously flavorful like the oil of giardiniera sauce. If you ever wondered, while watching The Sopranos, who Paulie Walnuts is referring to when he derides the "mayonnaisers", it's people who are out with the out crowd in terms of Italian-American culture and put mayo on their Italian sub rather than the ambrosiac "oil".