In the wake of the 1972 movie, sandwiches started popping up in delis across the tri-state area, going by the name of “the Godfather” on menus. Each sandwich was different from the last and operated as a sort of house specialty, playing on the strengths of the best prosciutto, soppressata, or capicola the kitchen had to offer. My own version of the sandwich features homemade garlic bread, bringing flavor and, more important, a crunchy safeguard against sogginess.
- Heat the oven to 350ºF. Split the bread and place it cut side up on a foil-lined sheet pan. Liberally drizzle olive oil onto the cut sides of the bread and sprinkle on the Pecorino Romano. Add the oregano, garlic powder, and salt to taste, and bake until golden and aromatic, about 10 minutes. When the garlic bread is cool enough to handle, rub each side with the garlic clove, then set aside until completely cooled.
- When the garlic bread is cool, build the sandwich. Spread the pesto evenly on each side. Layer the prosciutto over the bottom piece of bread, drizzle the honey on top, and add the red pepper flakes to taste. In order, layer on the speck, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Top with the other half of the garlic bread, slice in half, and serve.
Adam Erace is an award-winning food and travel writer who contributes to Travel + Leisure, Fortune, Food & Wine and many other publications. He is the co-author of the Palizzi Social Club and Laurel cookbooks and lives in South Philly with his wife and three maniacal rescue dogs. His new book, The Cocktail Workshop, comes out this fall.