I don’t eat out often, so when I do, I try to make it really worthwhile and eat at locales where the menus seem inspired and creative. Recently I came upon this little cafe in manhattan beach with just that sort of menu, and I ordered this breakfast sandwich. It was so lovely. A little bit of italy for breakfast, just my sort of thing. The sweet acidity of the tomatoes, the saltiness of the pancetta, and the richness of the scrambled egg with a bit of melted mozzarella. So good. A recipe is almost not needed; just look at the pictures and you’ll get the idea.
Chop up some ripe tomatoes, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, a little salt and pepper, some torn basil leaves, and some minced garlic (optional).
Saute the pancetta in a little olive oil until crisp
Toast your baguette, and wisk 2 eggs with a little salt and pepper and the cheese slices, if you like. You can add the cheese slices at any time, this is just my lazy way of doing it.
Scramble your eggs, however you like. I use some of the leftover oil from frying the pancetta and heat the pan at medium-low heat. When it foams, add the egg mixture. I use a rubber spatula to gently turn the eggs over, every 20 seconds or so. Too much movement and they loose that tender fluffiness.
Now its time to build your sandwich. Spread a tablespoon or two of store bought basil pesto on your toasted baguette (I say store bought because I’m trying to not overwhelm you with steps, just take a deep breath and enjoy not having to make your own pesto :-))
Top with the pancetta, tomato-basil mixture, and finally the scrambled eggs. Press the other baguette slice on top, and cut in two. Share the other half with whoever has been particularly nice to you today, at least that’s what I do.
Pancetta and Heirloom Tomato Breakfast Panini
3 slices Pancetta, or Bacon
1 small baguette, soft and light on the inside, a bit crusty on the outside
1 medium sized tomato, or 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
4 or so torn basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 clove garlic
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 slices mozzarella cheese
Salt and Pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
1. Chop tomatoes, mix with torn basil leaves, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Add a little minced garlic if you like, and season with salt and pepper
2. Saute Pancetta on medium heat in a little of olive oil, until crispy.
3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with a little salt and pepper, add cheese slices.
4. Heat pan used to fry pancetta on medium low heat. You can use the leftover oil from the pancetta to coat the pan and give the eggs a nice flavor. Add egg mixture and gently scrap pan and turn over eggs every 20-30 seconds. It should take about 2-3 minutes until they’re firm. In the meantime, toast your baguette in the oven for a few minutes.
5. Build your sandwich: Spread the pesto on both bread slices. Add the pancetta, tomato mixture, and finally the scrambled eggs. Top with the other slice of bread and cut in two. Enjoy!