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This might seem like an unusual dish, a pasticciata (a layered casserole) of bread and cheese that's baked, cut into portions, and served in a bowl of hot broth. Yet the tastes and eating pleasure of seuppa ou piat will be completely familiar and welcome to anyone who loves the gratineed crouton of French onion soup or enjoys a crispy grilled-cheese sandwich with a bowl of rich chicken broth alongside. This is a good dish for company, because you can have both the broth and the pasticciata hot and ready to be put together when your guests come. (Chicken stock is my preference, but a savory vegetable stock or a meaty beef broth is just as good.) --Lidia Bastianich
Recommended Equipment: A baking dish or oval gratin dish, 3 quarts or larger; heavy aluminum foil
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat to 400 degrees. Heat the broth almost to a simmer--season with salt to taste--and keep it hot. Butter the sides and bottom of the baking dish. Shred the fontina through the larger holes of a hand grater and toss the shreds with the grana (grated hard cheese).
Arrange half of the bread slices in one layer in the baking dish. Ladle out 1 cup of broth, and drizzle it on the bread slices, slightly moistening them all. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of the bread in an even layer. Cover the cheese with the remaining bread slices, filling the entire surface of the dish. Moisten these slices with another cup or so of stock; top the bread with all the remaining cheese, scattered evenly.
Tent the pasticciata with a sheet of heavy aluminum foil, arching it so it doesn’t touch the cheese topping, and pressing it against the sides of the baking dish. Set the dish in the oven, and bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue baking for 10 minutes or more, until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Take the dish from the oven, and let it cool and set for 5 minutes or so.
To serve: Cut out large squares of pasticciata and, with a spatula, transfer them to warm shallow soup or pasta bowls. Ladle a cup of hot broth over each portion and serve immediately, passing more grated cheese at the table.
*Country Italian bread is best for this pasticciata. The width of the bread can vary since it is layered snugly in the baking dish, then cut in squares when served.
Great cookbook. Great delivery time. Arrived as promised. Love Amazon.Published 18 days ago by raf dog
Not as good as Lidia's Italian Table in which a lot of her recipes are fabulous.Published 1 month ago by Susan Esposito
Lidia's cooking here can't be better. Easy to follow and delicious.Published 1 month ago by debbie jones
Another winner from Lidia. It so wonderful to see so many new and unique recipes from so many different places. Can't wait to try many more of them.Published 2 months ago by JuneP
Overly complicated recipes not for the casual chef. Makes me want to order out, instead. Who is going to clean up all those cooking utensils?Published 2 months ago by Robert Halsey
I love this cookbook as much as all her others. She is the goddess of italian food. I have made many of her recipes and they are all fantastic. Read morePublished 2 months ago by adriana trajtenberg
I purchased this to replace my copy, which I had given to a friend of mine. We frequently consult Lidia for our meal planning.Published 3 months ago by Cherrelyn J. Kramer
I'm learning Italian through cooking Lidia's authentic recipes! I might not be able to ask for directions, but at least I'll be able to order a decent meal when I finally get the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sarah Frost