Pressed Italian Sandwich

1 loaf of ciabatta bread

1/4 lb very thinly sliced good-quality sopressata (hot or sweet depending on your taste)

1/3-1/2 lb sliced fresh mozzarella

8 oz Roasted red peppers, purchased

About 3 tbsp pesto

1 large bunch, or 2 small bunches of basil, leaves torn from the stems

Slice the ciabatta loaf horizontally to make two large halves.  On the top half, evenly spread the pesto in a very thin layer (don’t over saturate the bread).  On the bottom half, first place the roasted tomatoes in a single layer, then top with a layer of sopressata.  (Place the thin slices of meat on top of each other to form a thicker layer.)  Top the sopressata with the sliced provolone, and then place a layer of basil leaves over the top of the cheese.  Place the top slice of bread over the basil layer, and press down to bring all the layers flat.  Continue pressing down, and wrap the entire loaf tightly in plastic wrap.  Place the wrapped loaf in the fridge overnight (or for at least 3 hours), and put something heavy on top of the loaf to compress it.  I used a cast iron skillet and placed a couple of soup cans on top of the skillet.

The next day, unwrap the loaf and slice into large sandwiches or small squares, depending on your preference.  Serve immediately, or keep chilled until needed

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