Tuscan Ciabatta Breadsticks
March 15, 2019 by Nicole Collins
I think it’s funny how Americans are always trying to reinvent the wheel.
Sometimes, we just need to follow the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Now that I’m a world traveler and all…(hello, 1 trip to Italy)…I especially noticed this while I was traveling in another country. For example, I was really REALLY bothered by the fact that we have the audacity to change the names of cities in other countries to more Americanized names for our benefit. We’d see street signs for Toscana and Fiorenze, and I was totally confused until I realized these cities are what we know as Tuscany and Florence. If the Italians named the city Fiorenze, the city is called Fiorenze! There’s no need to try to translate it for our own purposes.
Speaking of Tuscany, another thing I’ve noticed is that Americans like to label foods as “Tuscan”. But, I’m telling you that those “Tuscan” dishes don’t look like anything that I ate in Tuscany. American “Tuscan” dishes usually have cream, sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, and maybe some cheese. Did I see any of those ingredients in Tuscany? Yes. Did I see them all together in one dish? Nope. Actually, I don’t remember encountering sun dried tomatoes at all.
It kind of makes me wonder where our interpretation of Tuscan food comes from. Did someone just someone just wake up one day and say “oh, these ingredients are Italian and taste good together. Tuscany sounds romantic. Let’s call the dish Tuscan.” Or, was I just in the wrong region of Tuscany, and there’s a town that eats nothing but cream, sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, and cheese together?
I TOTALLY volunteer to go back to Italy to find out.
Well either way, both the Italian and the American version of Tuscan food is delicious. And, I’m going full out American with this Italian style treat today.
Today, we’re making Tuscan Ciabatta Breadsticks!
We’ve made ciabatta breadsticks together before, and I really adore them. You guys know I’m not one that works well with yeast, so I’m often looking for shortcuts to substitute for my favorite yeasty breads. Ciabatta bread works perfect for breadsticks, because they get perfectly crispy on the outside while staying pillowy soft on the inside.
That’s the definition of a perfect breadstick in my book.
To top our breadsticks, we’re going to make a cheesy butter spread that seeps into our bread while it bakes. To some softened butter, we add some fresh basil, some minced sun dried tomatoes, lots of garlic powder, and mozzarella cheese. The mix gets stirred together until the ingredients all become one, then it gets lathered right on top of our split ciabatta rolls. When they come out of the oven, they’re perfectly crisp and perfectly delicious.
The richness of the sundried tomatoes make these totally amazing without a dipping sauce, in my opinion. My taste testers, including a super honest 5 year old, loved these without any sauce. We ate the whole batch in one sitting this way. #sorrynotsorry. But if you love to dip like me, these are equally as yummy dipped in either marinara sauce or alfredo sauce. Mmmmm!
You know, the more and more I think about it; I definitely think I need to go back to Tuscany to find out if they actually make food like this. You know…for research purposes. Yeah…
Ok guys, that’s all I’ve got for today! A.k.a…it’s time for me to go stuff my face with cheese, butter, and bread!
Enjoy, and let’s eat!
Tuscan Ciabatta Breadsticks Serves: 24 breadsticks Print
4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
2 tbsp minced sun dried tomatoes (about 6 tomatoes), drained
1 tbsp grated parmesan
¾ cup shredded mozzarella
pepper, to taste
olive oil cooking spray
marinara, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange ciabatta rolls cut side down on the baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Flip over.
In a small mixing bowl, stir to combine butter, garlic powder, basil, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan, pepper, and mozzarella. Spread butter mix on to each slice of ciabatta, covering the surface of each roll. Bake for 10-12 mins until the cheese is melted and the edges start to brown.
Let rolls sit for 5 mins before cutting. Using a sharp knife, cut each roll in to 3 strips. Serve breadsticks with marinara. Enjoy!
*You can store leftover breadsticks in the fridge for about a week. To reheat, place in a 375 degree oven for 7-10 minutes.
*You don't need to line your pan with foil, but it makes for easy clean up.