Italian-Americans love their sandwiches. They’ve got some famous ones that many non-Italians in America know of as well. Of course everyone knows about Italian Submarine Sandwiches like the most typical of Salami, Ham, and Provolone with Lettuce, Onion, and Tomato dressed with Oil & Vinegar with Salt, Pepper and Oregano. Most everyone knows about Meatball Parm Sandwiches and Sausage & Peppers. Those in New orleans and those who have visited the famed Central Grocery know of New Orleans Famous Sicilian-American Muffuletta Sandwich and those in Chicago have Italian Beef (Sandwiches), and Philly Famed Cheese-Steaks, “Yes They Are Italian.” Italian-Americans have many great sandwiches that aren’t quite as well know. And we like it that way. Hey we have to keep some things to ourselves. For example I have a famous Sandwich that my Aunt Helen taught me, and all my friends go nuts for it, “Aunt Helen’s Panini al Ovo.” The sandwich amazing! Made of spinach sauteed with olive oil and butter, with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and served on nice toasted Italian Bread, my friends go nuts for it. Sausage Pepper & Eggs or Sausage & Potato are a couple other Secret Sandwiches.
As I said my Aunt Helen’s Panini al Ovo is famous, but famous just within a small group of a few who are Lucky to know of this rare Gem. Another one, is one I created by accident one day. When I owned my restaurant Bar Cichetti on Houston Street in New York’s Greenwich Village I created this tasty sandwich by accident one day. Before we started our lunch service one day, I had made a little plate of food for myself for lunch. The plate consisted of two Fried Eggs and 3 slices of Prosciutto di Parm with a couple slices of bread on the side. It made for a nice little lunch. One of my regular customers came in and saw me eating it and asked what it was, I told him, “Just a couple Fried Eggs with Prosciutto.” He said, “Hhumm.” A few minutes later one of my waitresses came in and said the guy wanted some Prosciutto with Fried Eggs. I made it and sent it out. She cam back and said the guy wanted some Garlic Bread. I made him some Tuscan Garlic Bread of toasted Italian Bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with Olive Oil. The guy loved it. A couple days later, for my own lunch I decided to make the Fried Eggs with Prosciutto and put it on a toasted hero-roll as a sandwich. Voila a new sandwich was created.
So there you go, you’ve got the famous well-known Italian-Sandwiches, you’ve got lesser known regional ones like Italian-Beef of Chicago and the Muffuletta of New Orleans. Then you’ve got Secret Sandwiches like my “Aunt Hellen’s Panini al Ovo” and my own “Ovo Frittti con Prosciutto,” what’s better than that?