“The little buns are packed full of flavor,” says chef Marc Forgione, who features the sandwiches on his menu at One Fifth in New York City. “They’re easy to prepare—there’s no actual cooking—but they’ll taste like you ordered from an Italian deli.”
The chef-owner of Peasant in New York City spreads the bread with homemade pistachio pesto. “It has the perfect balance of acid and herbs with a little kick from the Calabrian chilis,” he says.
To make game day even easier, the Iron Chef suggests preparing the pesto up to three days in advance of your Super Bowl watch party.
Marc Forgione’s Italian Mortadella Sliders with Pistachio Pesto
½ cup shelled pistachios, toasted
4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
½ oz. fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp. Calabrian chile paste
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. dried oregano
12 slider buns, toasted
1½ lbs. thinly sliced mortadella
6 pitted Castelvetrano olives, halved
1. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, 10 to 12 pulses. Add cheese, basil, garlic and chile paste; process until mixture forms a coarse paste. With food processor running, drizzle in ½ cup of the olive oil until it forms a sauce consistency, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
2. Place lettuce and onion in a medium bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano, and toss to coat well.
3. To assemble, spread each of the top and bottom cut sides of buns with about ½ tablespoon of the pistachio pesto. Layer mortadella on the bottom buns. Top mortadella with about ½ cup of lettuce-onion mixture. Close sandwiches with top buns, and garnish each with an olive half skewered with a toothpick.
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Quick tip! Mortadella is usually sold at the deli counter in the grocery store. If you can’t find it, Forgione suggests swapping it for thinly sliced, deli-quality bologna.