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August 29, 2010

A Double Comfort Dish

The Little Italy Burger...and last chance to get in on a fantastic GIVEAWAY!


We Americans like our comfort food. We are always trying to turn the unfamiliar into the familiar. You have to agree, this is a better than the old tradition of shunning the unfamiliar altogether! American fusion food is a great example of this new-found fascination. Dishes such as Mexican pizza and Asian-style hot dogs are just the beginning of our efforts to bring world flavors into the main stream. You can hardly go out-to-eat without seeing menus with ingredients from all over the globe. What an exciting time in culinary history!

Italian food has made its way, full-force, into the heart of America. Very few people here would ever think of it as an exotic style of cooking. Americans eat pizza, pasta, cured meats, and cheese in enormous amounts, probably only comparable to the eating habits of, let's say...Italians!? So I thought it would be fun to take the comforting flavors of Italy and layer them, like a warm fuzzy blanket, over the only thing that might be even MORE comforting. A hamburger.

Introducing the Little Italy Burger. All my favorite Italian flavors in one meaty sandwich! Fresh smoked mozzarella cheese, pesto, pancetta, red onions, ripe tomato slices, arugula and tomato-butter on a ciabatta bun. It's a glorious dripping tower of international bliss--American style!

Enjoy!
Sommer


Little Italy Burger

1 ½ lbs. ground beef
8 slices pancetta
1 jar of good pesto
1 large ball smoked mozzarella
1 red onion, cut into thin rounds
3 Tb. butter
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. anchovy paste
Baby arugula
Ripe tomato slices
4 ciabatta buns

Heat the grill to high. Divide the ground beef into 4 portions. Salt and pepper and press into patties. Layer each patty with a slice of pancetta on top and bottom. Press the pancetta into the patty.


Cut the onion and mozzarella into rounds.


Melt the butter and mix it with the tomato paste and anchovy paste.


Cut the ciabatta buns and brush the insides with tomato-butter.


CAREFULLY brush the grill with oil or use non-stick grill spray. Grill the patties and onions at the same time. Grill the patties for 3-5 minutes per side and the onions for 1-2 minutes per side.


Once you flip the burgers, lay the onion rounds over the top of each patty, followed by the mozzarella slices. The cheese will melt while the burgers finish cooking.


Place the buns on the open grill and toast for 1 minute.


Once the buns are toasted, slather them with pesto. Layer arugula leaves, tomato slices and a patty on each bun. Top and serve! Serves 4.


*I used a jar of good-quality pesto a friend gave me. Feel free to make your own!

Basic Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER MY  FIRST  SPICY GIVEAWAY! 
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!


Little Italy Burger on Foodista

50 comments:

  1. I hope you've entered this recipe into a burger contest. It's unique and looks fantastic. I bet you could win!

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  2. OMG you are a burger goddess. I wouldn't change a thing!!

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  3. Oh boy! This burger looks so amazing, loooooooved the tomato butter idea.

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  4. I surrender. You are the hands down winner in the burger department. These sound other worldly. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  5. These burgers look absolutely fantastic. I love burgers and surely yours would be my recipe to go. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. What a burger!Absolutely delightful!
    Will try with minced chicken!...and that tomato butter rocks!
    :)

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  7. This sounds TOTALLY awesome. My mouth is watering, literally. And I dont think it would be wise for me to whip up one of these burgers this late at night. I suppose I will have to wait until next weekend for labor day. *sigh* It will be hard to wait that long... ;)

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  8. Very interesting burger and I love the italian spin. Sounds delicious.

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  9. This is a perfect burger, complete with ciabatta. This is triple comfort.

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  10. yum panchatta and a burger what can beat that!

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  11. Great post!Tomato butter sounds wonderful. Thanks.

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  12. Neat idea! I'm not much of a hamburger maven but this one looks like a must try!

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  13. Speaking of delivery... 12 noon is okay with me - lol... Burgers look great - I love home grilled burgers the best.

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  14. What a unique and delicious looking burger! It's making my mouth water big time! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Wow that burger looks so delicious!!!

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  16. We love our comfort food and there's nothing like a juicy burger! And with pancetta - what's not to like ;)

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  17. Oh sommer what a perfect burger, first your perfect peach salad and now your fab burger, really great labor day ideas!! yum, love the pic of the bitten butger!!

    sweetlife

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  18. Love your foray into Italian cuisine via American and burger food! Very clever and very tasty too.

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  19. Sommer, this burger looks absolutely delicious! I love the addition of pancetta. Save one for me please!

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  20. That burger is to die for!!! All of my favorite Italian ingredients. Yummy!!!

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  21. I don't even eat meat, but love this...These flavors are fantastic :)

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  22. Oh how beautiful this burger is. Even though I don't eat burgers, this one is really tempting and mouthwatering!

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  23. An excellent burger, I love the combo of pancetta and mozarella and pesto here!

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  24. They look excellent! A perfect combination of flavours. Who said "burgers" are the junk food?

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  25. Italian Burger...I'm sold! Love the pancetta, tomato butter, and pesto. Put it all on ciabatta and that's pretty much heaven. I think this would also be good with some other meats mixed in the burger like pork and veal.

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  26. I'd like to be nearby when you make these just to smell the aroma of those amazing burgers grilling. Yum!!

    I have a question about the examiner gig you have going. How often do you have to post?

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  27. my do these look delicious!! must try it out sometime!!

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  28. You had me at smoked mozzarella. YUMMY YUMMY IN MY TUMMY! This looks so good to me. I am going to make it. My husband has been challenging me to make him the ultimate burger and i think i found it!

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  29. Good idea, Sommer! I love fusion food-there is no shame in it, girl (smile). Plus, this looks really wonderful. Oh, how I do miss burgers...Oh;)

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  30. Wow, this burger is absolutely mouthwatering...

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  31. This burger looks delicious. Great pictures, too. And you're right, we Americans really can't resist good comfort foods!

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  32. Glorious. Delicious and glorious. Of course, if you could please make mine with a bit more pink in the middle? Medium rare is perfect. Wow, that looks so good.

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  33. You know I like pesto on burgers, but I definitely think adding pork into the mix is a brilliant idea. This is one of the better versions of fusion food--some of it is SO weird!

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  34. Waw!! I love everything in & round & on top of that burger!! It all looks so tasty & mighty pretty too!

    MMMMMMMMMM,..fantastic real flavours in here & I also love the fact that you made your own pesto!

    Yummmm,...!!!

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  35. Perfect Italian style burgers, very creative, I think you nailed all the flavors and they look grilled to perfection:)

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  36. Now THAT looks heavenly! I love those Italian ingredients.

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  37. Sommer...you certainly know how to dress up a great looking and tasty burger ;o)

    Your photo captures are splendid!

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  38. I'm so glad hamburgers are your comfort food! And yay for ciabatta! It's way better than using hamburger buns which are kinda boring and don't hold up to a hearty burger :)

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  39. Love it!!! I've been craving a good burger and this one takes the cake. Something's going off the menu for next week and this is going on. If Connie wasn't playing bridge tonight and if I didn't have a meeting that starts in a few minutes and will last for about two hours I'd be heading to the grocery to get the ingredients right now :-) Kate @kateiscooking

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  40. glad I found your picture perfect blog!

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  41. This is one scrumptious Italiano burger! You went all out - just as the Italians do. I think there's at least three courses packed in that burger.

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  42. Very creative and original! I really want to make this. Thanks for sharing it.

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  43. Best burger I've seen so far - honestly! Smoked mozzarella, pancetta, anchovy paste, arugula, red onion, pesto and SQUARE BUNS!!!

    *THUD*

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  44. It is so true about the familiar and unfamiliar!

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  45. Wow! This looks so great. I want to take a bite.

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  46. Amazing the bun will contain so much. I'm lovin the idea of tomato butter.

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  47. What a fabuolous idea. You are so right. Italian food is so big.

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  48. How insanely delicious! This would be a huge hit in my house. Everything we love - on a burger!

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  49. Now that is one great burger! The pancetta must have added some wonderful flavors, and your tomato anchovy on that beautiful bread sounds so good, you could have probably just eaten the bread by itself!
    thanks for coming up with this masterpiece!

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