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Stanley Tucci’s Favorite Sandwich–Grilled Cheese Plus!

Stanley Tucci’s Favorite Sandwich–Grilled Cheese Plus!
Does Stanley Tucci like this sandwich more than spaghetti?

To call this a Grilled Cheese Sandwich is like calling Stanley Tucci a bit player

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich may have been every child’s first taste of “Comfort Food”. So very simple to make and so completely satisfying.  Now Stanley Tucci, whose madly popular ‘In Search of Italy’ has ended its run on CNN, has reappeared.  On a recent episode of her excellent podcast “Margie Nomura’s Desert Island Dishes”, https://www.desertislanddishes.co/ Ms. Nomura coaxed this confession out of Mr. Tucci.  Out of all the dishes Mr. Tucci has brought to our attention (check the complete list after today’s recipe) his love for grilled cheese sandwiches has never diminished. But his is no ordinary American-Cheese-on-White-Bread sandwich.  Instead, it is an aromatic extravaganza of two kinds of cheese to which two unexpected ingredients are added. It’s back to Tucci’s homeland roots with a glorious aroma and lovely salty chewiness from both Basil and Prosciutto.

Technically this is not a Grilled Cheese Sandwich but rather a Melt.

The Jaffle Sandwich Maker
Toasties made in the Jaffle Sandwich Toaster

The temptation is to say “Who Cares?”. But in the interest of culinary integrity, it’s only fair to point out the difference is that Grilled Cheese contains only two ingredients: Bread and Cheese. A melt on the other hand adds other ingredients –usually Meat or Chicken or Tuna (think Tuna Melt) and vegetables or greens. The similarities far outdo the differences. Both are cooked the same way: a layer of butter or mayonnaise is added to the outside of the bread and both are cooked on a griddle, fried in a pan, or in a panini maker or a sandwich toaster.  That’s how they’re made in the UK and why they are called ‘toasted sandwiches’ or ‘toasties.’  In Australia, they’re called “Jaffies” because they’re often made in a Pie Oven whose brand name is Jaffle. In South Africa where Jaffles is also the brand name of choice, they’re called “snackwiches”.

About Stanley Tucci’s Recipe…

Follow this recipe to a T. I experimented with it and believe me “less is more.” The proportions are perfect. Don’t add more cheese or extra layers of prosciutto.  Even the basil, which gives you a magnificent whiff at first bite, should be used judiciously.  I like Trader Joe’s San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread for the bread.  The fresh mozzarella is absolutely key here: It’s mild, melts beautifully, and is the perfect counterpoint to the saltier more acidic ingredients. Where you do have some leeway, is in the choice of shredded white cheese, the foundation of the sandwich. Here you can use Gouda or Cheddar. I chose Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar with its hints of Parmesan.  Here’s the recipe and after it, the links to all of Stanley’s recipes on ChewingTheFat.

Stanley Tucci's Favorite Sandwich

March 30, 2023
: 1 Sandwich
: 10 min
: 10 min
: 20 min
: Use the exact quantity of ingredients and hover over the sandwich as it cooks.

This is no ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Instead, it is an aromatic extravaganza of two kinds of cheese to which two unexpected ingredients are added. It gets its glorious aroma and lovely salty chewiness from Basil and Prosciutto.


  • 3 slices prosciutto
  • 3 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil
  • Butter or Mayonnaise
  • 2 slices crusty bread
  • Shredded white cheese
  • Step 1 For some extra melty goodness, start with shredded white cheese, such as cheddar or Gouda. Layer on prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and basil
  • Step 2 Spread butter or mayonnaise on both sides of the sandwich.
  • Step 3 Warm on a nonstick pan over low heat until cheese melts.
  • Step 4 Remove from pan and let cool slightly. Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy.

From Stanley Tucci’s “Searching For Italy”: Spaghetti Alla Nerano

“10 Minute” Bolognese from Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy”

Stanley Tucci Season 2022: A Calabrian Classic

Sardinian Gnocchi alla Carlofortina

Stanley Tucci: “Searching for Italy” Recipe: Puglia’s Spaghetti all’Assassina

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