Given that I'm on a never-ending quest to try every adaptation of pizza possible, I'm well acquainted with the concept of pizza paninis. For those who aren't, you take the cheese, pepperonis and sauce and throw it into sandwich form. It's foolproof. It's also cheap and easy, so I used to make pizza paninis all the time back in college.

Little did I know, my standard pizza panini was missing what now seems like a crucial addition: parmesan grilled into a perfect crust the outside of the bread. It's brilliant. Also, two cheeses is almost always better than one in my book. I'm actually a bit sad I've eaten so many of these paninis without adding parmesan to the outside of the bread. Never again.

I got the inspiration from Rachel over at Rachel Cooks. It seems she and I share a love of all things pizza and grilled cheese. She used wheat bread for these. I used sourdough. Any sort of thick bread will do. My picture doesn't do these sandwiches justice (read: I was hungry, so I rushed through making it and taking pictures), but it's what's on the inside that counts. In this case, it's pure, cheesy deliciousness. Rachel's pictures, on the other hand, absolutely do it justice. So, if you aren't convinced, head on over to her page for proof

Parmesan Crusted Pizza Panini
Makes Two Sandwiches

Four Slices Thick Bread
1 Tablespoon Butter (softened to the point it's spreadable)
12 Pepperonis
2 Tablespoons Pizza Sauce
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Heat up a panini maker or a skillet over medium heat. Spread butter evenly over one side of each piece of bread. On the unbuttered side of one piece, add 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza sauce. Layer the mozzarella with pepperonis and another 1/4 of the cheese. Top sandwich with another piece of bread, unbuttered side facing down. Repeat this process with the remaining two slices of bread.

Spread half of the parmesan evenly one buttered side of each sandwich and press down gently. Flip the sandwiches into the pan or onto the panini maker and top the other side of each sandwich with the remaining cheese, again, pressing down gently to secure the cheese. You don't really need to worry about measuring here. Add the ingredients to your liking, increasing or decreasing each depending on your preference.

If you are using a panini maker, you will not need to flip the sandwich again. Just cook for 4-6 minutes and serve it up. If you are using a skillet, flip the sandwich after 2-3 minutes to brown the other side. Remove sandwich when you can see that the cheese on the inside is melted and the parmesan on the outside has a nice, lightly brown crisp to it.

Slice and enjoy!


MuchRatherBake said... @ June 13, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Where has this concept of pizza paninis been all my life?! I need to rectify this omission?

Sarah said... @ June 16, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Better late than never, Laura! But yes, the omission should be rectified as soon as possible!

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