Agent Fitz's favorite sandwich on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a classic - prosciutto, mozzarella, and pesto aioli. Like any great sandwich or fictional superhero organization, it comes together to make something greater than the sum of its parts. That is until Ward so callously tosses it into the darkness for comic effect.
For the biga:
1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 cup room temperature water
5 ounces all purpose flour
10 ounces all purpose flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup room temperature water
1/4 cup room temperature milk
For the pesto and pesto aioli:
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 garlic clove
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For building the sandwich:
1 pound San Daniele prosciutto
2 six-ounce balls of buffalo mozzarella, sliced
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
4 ounces baby arugula (rocket)
Makes two 12” sandwiches
NOTE: There is an error in the episode - I specify 1 cup of water in the biga when it should actually be a 1/2 cup. This recipe contains that correction!
Make the biga: In a small bowl, combine first yeast, water, and flour - stir until a sticky paste forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let ferment at room temperature for at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours.
Combine the biga with the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed, until the ingredients are homogenous. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook, and knead on medium-high speed for 10 minutes, until dough is shiny and smooth. Pull the dough off the hook and pour into a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the plastic wrap, oil a rubber spatula, and fold the dough onto itself 8 times, rotating the bowl so every part of the dough gets turned. Replace the plastic wrap, rest for an additional 30 minutes, and repeat the process 2 more times.
Preheat oven to 450°F with a pizza stone set in the center of the oven. Turn the dough out onto an extremely liberally-floured surface. Divide into 3 equal pieces, and roughly shape each into a 12x9” rectangle, flouring underneath if the dough sticks. Fold the dough onto itself like a letter, resulting in a 12x3” loaf. Repeat with remaining pieces, and place each loaf on a sheet of parchment paper cut just larger than the size of the loaves. Dust with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for another 20 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap, spray down the loaves with water from a spray bottle, and slide onto the pizza stone. Bake for 22-30 minutes, until deeply golden brown on the outside, registering 210°F inside. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before assembling the sandwich.
Make the pesto aioli: In a small food processor or blender, combine pine nuts, basil, and olive oil. Process until smooth, adding olive oil as necessary until a smooth pesto forms. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolk and grated garlic. Whisking vigorously and constantly, slowly stream olive oil down the side of the bowl. Whisk the oil in until a thick aioli forms, and whisk in the pesto, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the sandwich: slice two loaves in half lengthwise, and generously spread pesto aioli on the top half. On the bottom half, begin shingling slices of prosciutto folded in half, until you have at least two layers of prosciutto. Top the meat with slices of buffalo mozzarella, followed by tomatoes, then arugula. Place the top on the sandwich, slice in half, and serve, repeating with second sandwich.