Cooking

Anatomy of a Dish: Spiedino from Marco's

Grilled cheese in heaven. With anchovies.
Spiedino alla Romana from Danny Amend at Marco's in Brooklyn, NYC

"You don't often encounter sandwiches cooked in eggs and milk," says Danny Amend of Marco's in Brooklyn. "It's uniquely Roman."

The glorious spiedino alla Romana is popular in Italian sidewalk cafes, where it's sometimes served on skewers. Call it a grilled cheese, but this sandwich is operating on another level entirely, with its custardy bread and cheesy anchovy-strewn filling (see the recipe), and a lot of thought has gone into the spiedino's construction. 

① The slices of soft white bread used to build this beauty are dipped in a Parmesan-enriched egg-and-milk batter, then cooked in butter until the bread is super crisp and golden.

② Inside, the buffalo mozzarella is hot and melty, layered with just a couple of salty anchovies. "We made 10 different iterations during testing," Amend explains. "We wanted that nice fish flavor, but didn't want it to be the first thing you taste."

③ To brighten things up, Amend adds what you might get away with calling a salad on top: fresh parsley and raw shallots with capers and lemon juice. "It's a nice little foil," he says. "Otherwise things could get heavy."

Marco's 295 Flatbush Ave. Brooklyn NY 11217 718-230-0427

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