serves: Makes 2 sandwiches
I had this sandwich in Baltimore, in a small, quaint mom-and-pop shop in Little Italy. Turkey is not too popular in Italy. After all, it was brought back to Europe after the discovery of America, and in Italy chicken and rabbits ruled the roost, along with other courtyard animals. In America, though, the turkey is the celebrated and celebratory animal, the one that fed famished early explorers coming to America. Well, this is a great sandwich to make on the days following Thanksgiving—or anytime, for that matter. The condiment and the greens are the Italian part, and the turkey is the American part—the perfect Italian American civic club sandwich.
1½ tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Basil Pistachio Pesto (recipe to follow) , or other basil pesto
4 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
4 ounces turkey, sliced
4 thick slices country bread, lightly toasted
2 cups baby arugula
1 tomato, sliced
Basil Pistachio Pesto (makes 3 cups pesto)
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves
1 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ cups extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together the mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl. Cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat as you would bacon, until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add turkey slices to the same skillet, and cook, turning, until just warmed through,
about 1 to 2 minutes. Assemble sandwiches: Spread 2 slices bread with half of the mayonnaise.
Top each with a handful of arugula. Top with the pancetta and turkey, then the sliced tomatoes. Top with the remaining arugula. Spread remaining mayo on remaining bread slices, and place on top of the arugula. Cut sandwiches in half with a serrated knife, and serve.
Pulse the basil, parsley, pistachios, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Pour olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Process to make a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.