Every time I go to San Francisco to visit my tia, I make it my business to visit a tiny, local Italian restaurant not far from her house in Berkeley. The place is as big as a medium sized living room and is always packed to the gills with food-freaks like myself. I don't mind waiting outside for a table for about an hour and then being crunched up next to the patrons at the table next to me with barely any elbowroom to speak of. Why? Because of the amazing paninis that this family owned restaurant serves. These beautiful pressed sandwiches are on of my favorite Italian dishes to eat when I'm looking for a quick bite. I started making these puppies around 10 years ago and I think I've gotten pretty darn close to those I eat up in Berkeley.
The secret, I've since learned, is the homemade pesto sauce that engulfs this dish. I like to take my time with it and make it just right because it makes all the difference in the world. Have a shot at it and I guarantee you will feel the same way I do about this sandwich… pure LOVE.