Pane Bagnato "Bathed Bread" Focaccia Sandwich

Pane Bagnato "Bathed Bread" Focaccia Sandwich

A taste of summer between two sheets of luscious rosemary focaccia. The perfect picnic food for the whole family to enjoy. This is a vegetarian version, but you can also add fresh grilled or canned tuna, roasted chicken or any combination of various salumi such as finocchiona salami, proscuitto or bresaola.



1 bulb fresh fennel, fronds and core removed; thinly sliced
1 clove fresh garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
4 Tablespoons Bella Cucina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch radishes, washed and thinly sliced
1 -6 oz. jar Bella Cucina Roasted Peppers Antipasti
6 hard-boiled organic eggs
1 portion Bella Cucina Foccacia Bread Dough mix
1/2 cup Bella Cucina Olivada Olive Pesto
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon Bella Cucina Fresh Basil Pesto
1 large handful arugula greens



Prepare the focaccia according the directions on the mix, adding 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 Teaspoon dried rosemary to the mix. Alternatively, buy a loaf from your favorite local baker.

Remove the fronds and stems from the fennel bulb. Reserve the fennel stems for stock or sauce. Chop enough of the featherly fronds to yield about 1 Tablespoon. * NOTE: if the fennel does not have the stem or fronds on the bulb, you can omit. Cut the fennel bulb into quarters. Remove the core and cut each quarter of the fennel bulb into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick. In a small bowl, add the garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. {This can also be done in a blender.}

Wash and remove the stems of the radishes. Thinly slice with a knife, mandolin or food processor blade.

Place the radishes and fennel in two separate bowls. Divide the marinade in half and toss with the marinade until well-coated. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove the tops of the peppers, slit the peppers on one side so they open up and can lay flat and remove the seeds. Set aside until ready to use. Reserve the marinade from the peppers.

Peel and cut the hard-boiled eggs crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds.

Slice the focaccia loaf in half crosswise so you have a top and a bottom piece. Spread the inside of one half of the bread evenly with olive pesto. Mix the mayonnaise with the basil pesto until well combined. Spread the inside of the other half of the bread with the basil mayonnaise.


To assemble the sandwich, start by placing the bread with olive pesto on a parchment - lined half sheet pan. Layer the sliced eggs evenly on the bread until completely covered. Continue the same layering process with the radishes, fennel and roasted peppers. Complete the last layer with the arugula greens. Cover the arugula with the mayonnaise –coasted piece of bread. Put a piece of parchment over the top of the bread and cover with another sheet pan. Place a few bricks, stones or a heavy-bottomed sauce pan on the sheet pan and let sit for about 30 minutes so it can compress.

With a serrated knife, carefully cut the pane bagnato crosswise in half, then half again on each side, so you have four cuts. Make two cuts lengthwise equal distance so you have twelve sandwiches. If packing for a picnic, wrap each sandwich in two layers of heavy parchment for safe keeping. Tuck the basket with a fresh pasta salad and a bottle of wine. 

Serves twelve.

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