food. family. life.

{panino}: beef cutlet, broccoli rabe & provolone on ciabatta

My early food memories are often recaptured when I catch the aroma of certain foods cooking or I am listening to a story told by a family member or friend at the dinner table.

This recipe is one of my food memories… a panino that was common when my famiglia was planning a road trip, summer picnic, beach day or even a trip to the airport to pick up Italian relatives coming to visit us in New York.

Dan’s grandmother (on his Mom’s side), Adele made these panino for her husband and famiglia years ago using sautéed fresh chicory (dandelion greens) that have a strong bitter bite.

Mammina Loreta would often use broccoli rabe when dandelion greens were not in season. My favorite memory of eating this panino takes place on one of our many annual visits to Auriesville, New York in the summer where we would visit the famous shrine and gardens filled with beautiful roses.

After walking for hours, we would stop and rest for some food and drink. The panino brought from home was presented wrapped in foil so it would capture the drips from the broccoli rabe.cucinadimammina_beef cutlet & broccoli rabe ciabatta sandwich_7A

I would devour mine and watch to see if there were any more panino to share with my brothers and cousins.

I throughly enjoyed recreating this recipe for my wonderful in-laws, Patricia and Pio. I loved eating these panino and so did Dan and our girls, a wonderful dinner was had by all.

I hope you try this dish and create your own lovely food and family stories and memories.


{manzo brasato, broccoli rabe e provolone ciabatta panino}

1 large bunch of broccoli rabe

2 garlic cloves (peeled and cut into chunks)

olive oil


2 loafs fresh ciabatta bread(sliced into wide segments and cut sandwich-style)

approx. 1 pound of beef tenderloin, sliced into 1/4″ or so thin cutlets (you can freeze and slice by hand; better yet, have your butcher slice for you)

2 whole organic eggs

whole organic or lactose-free milk

salt and pepper to taste

unbleached flour

homemade or store-variety seasoned bread crumbs

plain bread crumbs

6 slices of sharp imported provolone cheese

Place a large stockpot filled with water to boil. Wash and trim the broccoli rabe and drain. Once the water boils; blanch for about 3 to 5 minutes at most and remove from water with a slotted spoon.

Set aside to drain; remove the cooking water from the heat and set aside for later use.

Using clean paper towels; pat the meat slices until dry and season each slice lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside on a large flat plate. In a deep bowl filled with flour, dredge each slice in the flour until evenly coated and place back on flat plate.cucinadimammina_beef cutlet & broccoli rabe ciabatta sandwich_11

In a medium bowl, add the eggs and a good splash of milk; season with salt and pepper. Beat until well combined. In a large bowl mix together some seasoned bread crumbs and some plain (a 50/50 mix.)

Dip the meat slices into the egg wash and then the combined bread crumbs; shake off any loose crumbs and place on a large baking sheet drizzled with olive oil.

Repeat this process until all the slices are coated and on the tray. Keep space between the slices for easy turning during baking. Drizzle with more olive oil on the top of the slices.

Place on middle rack of preheated oven at 425 degrees and bake until the bottom is slightly golden brown; turn them over to cook the other side and remove from heat when completely browned; set aside.

In a large skillet; drizzle and healthy portion of olive oil and add in the pieces of garlic; place on medium heat until the oil starts to sizzle and the aroma of garlic invades our kitchen space.cucinadimammina_beef cutlet & broccoli rabe ciabatta sandwich_19

Add the blanched broccoli rabe and toss in the oil and garlic mixture; add in a good healthy dose of the cooking water and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saute this until the broccoli rabe is tender and infused with the garlic and oil flavors. Remove from heat, discard the garlic pieces and set aside.

This should take approximately 6-8 minutes maximum depending on the amount of rabe used (do not overcook them; they will be a beautiful, bright green color.)

Take the ciabatta segments and toast in a toaster oven or oven until lightly golden brown.

Place a slice of provolone on the bottom half of the panino and place in the warm toaster oven to melt the cheese. Place one to two slices of the beef cutlet on top of the cheese and add the broccoli rabe to the top of the cutlets.

Using a spoon; drizzle some the cooking juices from the broccoli rabe on the top of the panino to soak in the flavors (add to your personal taste.)cucinadimammina_beef cutlet & broccoli rabe ciabatta sandwich_23

Add the top of the panino to the bottom half and using your hand press down firmly.

Slice in half and serve immediately. Makes about 3 to 6 panino.

Store any left over beef cutlets for later use in the refrigerator or freezer (we grab these cutlets right from the refrigerator as a late night snack!)

Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti

Buon Appetito!

cucinadimammina_beef cutlet & broccoli rabe ciabatta sandwich_26


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