Americans tend to associate the word panini with a very specific type of pressed, grilled sandwiches, but, in Italy, a panino generally refers to any sandwich type. The cooks at Bellina Alimentari take the salsiccia panino in a different, nongrilled direction from what Americans expect.
The bread in this panino is a ciabatta roll with soft, pliant crumb and a light, chewy crust, still dusted with flour. Within that roll is a house-made Italian sausage that’s lean, but filled with herbaceous flavor. Sweet agrodolce onions and peppery arugula lightly dressed in mayo help balance the ensemble and glue everything together.
Yes, it’s a simple sausage sandwich, but the attention to detail and high-quality ingredients elevate this sophisticated dish. You might find yourself telling someone, “Actually, it’s not a sandwich; it’s a panino.”