Pork and Pancetta Burger with Smoked Mozzarella, Peperonata, and Basil Pesto
Recipe Servings: 6 portions
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp Lucini® Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil®
1/2 cup diced Spanish onion
1 clove garlic, minced
25 oz ground pork
5 oz ground pancetta
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 focaccia rolls, cut in half
1 cup Peperonata
6 slices smoked mozzarella
1 cup Basil Pesto
Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is smoking, add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Remove and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, combine the pork, pancetta, onion-garlic mixture, rosemary, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and the remaining 2 teaspoons and mix very well. To make the patties, roll six 5-ounce pork-pancetta balls and form each ball into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover, and refrigerate.
SECRET STEP: Toast the focaccia rolls (directions to follow) and set aside. Heat the Peperonata.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough oil to cover the entire bottom. When the oilbegins to smoke, reduce the heat to medium and place the patties in the skillet. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Flip, and cook on the other side for another 1 minute. Place 1 slice of cheese oneach patty and continue to cook 2 minutes more. Cover with a lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
To assemble the burgers, spread some of the pesto on 1 toasted bun top and bottom. Place 1 patty on 1 bun bottom. Top with a spoonful of Peperonata and badda bing. Cover the with the bun top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Don’t forget to wrap the sandwiches in wax paper. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.
Chef Spike is the owner and can be found in the kitchens at Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill. Both restaurants offer American comfort food with a chef twist. Chef Spike was a contestant on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Season 4: Chicago and Top Chef All-Stars. He has appeared on Oprah.com, Good Morning America, CNN and MTV. Chef Spike went to battle on The Food Network’s Iron Chef America and is in the upcoming season The Next Iron Chef.