A semi-homemade recipe I came up with trying to please my son's craving for a meatball grinder (New England name for a sub or hoagie) and my wish not to waste a loaf of ciabatta bread I had bought the day before. The result? My son said they were "amazing" and he was glad I didn't order out and I thought they were quite yummy myself! FYI - the infused olive oil can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container to be used later in the week in any pasta or italian dish. The leftover sauce and meatballs, if any, can be saved for later use as well.
- Add olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning to a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add marinara sauce and meatballs to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- When the sauce is hot and the meatballs are heated all the way through turn off the heat and remove meatballs from the sauce.
- Remove the olive oil from the heat and over a small bowl, pour the oil mixture through a small metal strainer.
- Using the back of a metal spoon, scrape the bottom of the strainer, pushing the garlic "paste" into the bowl.
- Brush a thin layer of the flavored oil onto the cut sides of the bread.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over one side of the bread.
- Cut each meatball in half and place them in an even layer over the marinara sauce.
- Place a slice of mozzarella cheese over the meatballs.
- Place the other slice of bread on top of the cheese covered meatballs.
- Heat an indoor grill pan over medium high heat.
- Place the sandwiches on the grill and cover with a bacon press or other heavy object and cook just until nice grill marks appear.
- Turn the sandwiches over and place the bacon press on top and cook just long enough to see grill marks.
Great idea, FeelinYummy! I'm always on the lookout for simple, quick to prepare, hearty meals! These really fit the bill. I did use homemade meatballs, as I happened to have some on hand, and I used focaccia rolls, as they are crusty and hearty, somewhat similar to a ciabatta bread. (Plus, there are only 2 of us -) The garlic-infused oil really imparts a great flavor! I used my George Foreman grill, as I don't have a panini press, but I feel that worked out just fine. Thanks for sharing; these are just wonderful.