Now that school’s back in session for most, if not all households, we can almost guarantee your kitchen is well-stocked on three particular ingredients: bread, peanut butter, and jelly. While this classic sammie is and will always be the shining star of any lunchbox, at some point you have to put the jar of Jif away and mix it up. And when that day comes, we have just the substitute: Giada De Laurentiis‘ pane pomodoro — or, as she describes it, the Italian equivalent to PB&J.
“Meet Pane Pomodoro, which is essentially the Italian equivalent to a PB&J!” De Laurentiis wrote on Instagram.
Pane pomodoro and PB&J share just one ingredient — bread — but the swap is a great way to travel to Italy without having to step one foot out the door. “There’s a specific name for that afternoon snack kids come home to after class: la merenda,” De Laurentiis writes on her blog, Giadzy, adding that la merenda can be prepared in a variety ways — as a salami and cheese sandwich, with Nutella, etc. — but the most popular version is pane pomodoro, or “tomato bread.”
Like the PB&J, pane pomodoro requires few ingredients: bread, olive oil, salt, and tomato. To start, you’ll brush the bread with olive oil, then grill or toast it. Next, you’ll cut into a tomato and rub the cut-side onto the toasted bread. Sprinkle some salt, and you’re done!
“Though the tradition of la merenda is generally for kids, we feel like this is yet another Italian custom we could happily adopt ourselves!” De Laurentiis writes — and we couldn’t agree more.
Get the recipe for De Laurentiis’ pane pomodoro on Giadzy. And for more kid-friendly recipes, check out De Laurentiis’ aglio e olio with peas and prosciutto or her one-skillet Sunday brunch featuring bacon, salami, and potatoes.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty: