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Baked Bread Slices with Onions and Pancetta
12 Thick slices of day old, round or oval Country bread, cut into ¾ inch thick slices, about 3 to 4" long
2 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
3 Tablespoons plus ¼ cup Olive Oil (3 Tablespoons for cooking, ¼ cup for ‘drizzle’)
¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thickly sliced
8 ounces Pancetta, sliced ¼ inch thick, roughly chopped. ( You can substitute with Bacon )
½ medium White Onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
One 35-ounce can Italian Style Tomatoes, drained, coarsely chopped, juices reserved. Alternatively you can use Stewed Tomatoes for a slightly sweeter taste. Let your palate decide
2 heaping Tablespoons chopped fresh Basil
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
1/8 teaspoons dry Oregano
12 teaspoons grated Romano cheese
Place the 12 slices of bread on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven, on both sides. Rub one side of each toast with the whole garlic cloves
In a deep, wide sauté pan, heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil. Add red pepper flakes, the sliced garlic cloves, Pancetta and onion. Cook for 6 - 9 minutes over medium heat, until the onions are soft and the garlic and onions just begin to brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes, basil, parsley and oregano, and cook until the tomatoes have lost most of their water, about 3-4 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the reserved juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4 -5 minutes. The mixture will be like a thick and chunky salsa. Taste for salt.
When the Pancetta mixture is ready, spoon it on top of the toasted, rubbed breads. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of the toasts. Sprinkle each of the 12 toasts with 1 teaspoon of the grated Romano cheese. Broil in the oven for two minutes, until the cheese is melted (but the bread does not burn).
Serve two toasts per person accompanied by a green salad.
©2015 Nick Stellino Productions