Prosciutto-Cheese Piadina and Butternut Squash-Pecorino Piadina

For Urbino's signature dish, chef and co-owner Nate Appleman chose piadina, the excellent flatbread sandwiches that he describes as "Italian quesadillas." On his custom stone griddle, the first one in America, Appleman cooks the flaky dough until it's just crisp outside, then stuffs it with sumptuous combinations like tender roasted squash with pancetta, or prosciutto with stracchino cheese and peppery arugula.


Slideshow:More Terrific Sandwiches


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 8 Piadina

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  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup water
  • One 3-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
  • 1/2 pound thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 2-by- 1/4-inch matchsticks
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces shaved pecorino cheese
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/2 pound stracchino or robiola cheese, sliced
  • 2 cups baby arugula

How to make this recipe

  1. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour with the baking soda and salt. Add the shortening and beat at low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually beat in the water on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium roasting pan, toss the butternut squash with the sliced pancetta, the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and browned in spots and the pancetta is browned.

  3. On an unfloured surface, roll out each piece of dough to an 8-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet. Cook the <em>piadina</em> one or two at a time over moderate heat, turning once, until lightly charred in spots and no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and cover with foil to keep warm while you cook the rest.

  4. Arrange the <em>piadina</em> on a work surface. Top 4 of the <em>piadina</em> with the butternut squash&#8211;pancetta mixture and shaved pecorino and fold to close. Top the other 4 with the prosciutto, stracchino cheese and arugula. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and fold to close. Serve the <em>piadina</em> immediately, either whole or cut into wedges.

Suggested Pairing

Urbino's Shelley Lindgren likes to pour fruity reds from Italy’s Marche region with Nate Appleman's piadina.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published January 2009

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