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Anthony Contrino's Mortadella and Provolone Panino

Anthony Contrino
Cook Time:
5 mins
Prep Time:
5 mins

Chef notes

This is the more Italian version of your classic bologna and cheese sandwich. The artichoke tapenade adds a freshness and slathering the exterior of the bread in garlic butter creates an inside-out garlic bread crunch!

Technique tip: If you do not have a panini press, you can cook the panini in a cast iron skillet with a second on top to press the sandwich. Cook on medium-low heat to allow the inside of the panino to get nice and warm and melty.

Swap option: Use thinly sliced mozzarella instead of provolone.


Artichoke Tapenade (makes about 1 cup)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated pecorino
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 4 slices crusty Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup Artichoke Tapenade (recipe above)
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced mortadella (about 8 slices)
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced provolone (about 6 slices)


For the Artichoke Tapenade:


Gently squeeze any excess water from the artichoke hearts. Separate the hearts from the tender leaves.


Place the hearts in a mini food processor or a mortar and process or mash until creamy. Add the cheese, olive oil and pepper and stir until well combined. 


Finely chop the artichoke leaves and stir them into the artichoke paste (you can store this in the refrigerator for up to 5 days).

For the panino:


Preheat a panini press to medium-low.


In a small bowl, stir the butter, garlic and garlic powder until well combined.


Spread a thin, even layer of the garlic butter onto one side of a slice of bread; flip the bread over.


Spread 2 tablespoons of the Artichoke Tapenade onto the other side of the bread. Top evenly with half of the mortadella. Top evenly with half of the provolone. Cover with another slice of bread. Spread a thin, even layer of the garlic butter onto the exposed side of the bread. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.


Place the sandwiches into the prepared panini press and cook until the bread is golden-brown and crisp, for 3-5 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.