If you were to ask me about my favorite cuisine I would hands down say Italian. All things Italian. Pasta, pesto, delicious cheese, you name it and I love it. Perhaps the fact that I’m half-Italian plays into this love. I was also born and raised in Wisconsin which means that I’m also a lover of cheese so the fact that April is National Grilled Cheese Month has me swooning over deliciously cheesy sandwiches.
Combining my two loves I decided to create a delicious grilled cheese sandwich to celebrate the occasion. And of course, I’ve paired it with a classic Italian wine: Chianti. The sandwich is comprised of a hearty Italian bread, fresh mozzarella cheese, pesto and tomatoes. This sandwich is best in the summer when the tomatoes are in season and you can prepare fresh pesto but there is certainly jarred pesto available that work well too.
I paired this grilled cheese sandwich with the Banfi Tuscany Chianti Classico DOCG, a wine that features big flavors of cherries, plums and violet. This wine is rich enough to compliment the flavors of the fresh mozzarella and pesto but not overpower them.
This sandwich is hearty enough to eat for dinner with a glass of chianti or light enough to enjoy for lunch. If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month, this sandwich and wine pairing are certainly the way to do it!
Recipe: Pesto Mozzarella Grilled Cheese
4 slices hearty Italian bread
1/3 cup pesto
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 8-ounce mozzarella ball, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Butter 1 side of each of the 4 slices of bread.
Place two slices of bread, butter side down, in the heated pan. Divide the pesto between the two slices and spread evenly. Top the pesto with cheese, tomatoes and cheese again and place the second slice of bread on top, butter side up.
Cook the sandwich until it is golden brown on each side and serve immediately.
Pair with Banfi Chianti Classico wine