For the man who never wins anything, comes the news that I have just one second prize in a recipe contest! Here's the recipe and the judges' comments. If you'ld like to see the original context go to the Burnt Toast Website. An unlike most things I make up off the top of my head, this one I have actually eaten - for breakfast mind you.
Panino alla Simonetta Vespucci
Start with a heel of cibbata about 5 inches long. Slice in half horizontally, remove a little of the interior and toast. Layer on the bread a few slices of turkey, some mashed fagioli (i.e. beans, cooked in fiasco is ideal), a thick slice of tomato sprinkled with sea salt and ground chili pepper and drizzle of olive oil, a piece of roasted red bell pepper (charred over an open flame) and grate over this a good ounce or more of serious dark chocolate (70% or above is best). Close up the sandwich and place in a flat pan or comal (not a ridged grill) with a pat of butter and plate atop a heavy cast iron skillet or brick. The weight will squash the sandwich. Cook on both sides, melting the chocolate and crisping the bread. Serve hot.
The idea of the recipe, apart from deliciousness, is to remind the eater of the enormous debt of Italian food (especially that of Tuscany) to Mexico, made possible by such notorious figures as Amerigo Vespucci. This dish is named for his gorgeous relative Simonetta, the strawberry blond pictured in Botticelli paintings.
Joanne says she was "worried that my Italian-ness was making me biased in favour of [the panino recipe]." But now, she's going to make it for her Valentine's dinner. Michael relates how the turkey and chocolate panino "made me salivate like a cat!" He says he could actually see the sandwich and then swears that by the final sentence, could even taste it.