Sure, you can have garlic bread, but this version incorporates the best of two worlds – the squidge of butter in its glorious depths of the traditional, as well as elements of the truly delightful cacio e pepe pasta. This has allllll the cheese and lemony-peppery bite plus the creamy stretch of the non-traditional addition of mozzarella. So easy and an ultimate way to feed a crowd. As with all simple things, make sure the ingredients are the best you can find and afford.
1 sourdough loaf
100g butter*, very soft
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup grated pecorino
1 ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced (about 125g)
1-2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)
small drizzle of olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 200C fan forced (220C conventional).
2. Cut the sourdough lengthways and crossways, three-quarters of the way through the loaf, creating a cubed effect. Each cube should be about 2.5cm as a rough guide, and take care not to go all the way through to the bottom of the loaf.
3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place your prepared sourdough loaf on top. Spread the butter generously between the slices – no need to be precise, bits and blobs of it anywhere and everywhere simply add to the appeal.
4. Using your hands, gently pull apart the bread to push the shredded cheeses into the slices and crevices – again anywhere and everywhere is wonderful. Give the loaf a light dousing of pepper.
5. Add the mozzarella in between the slices and season very generously with the remaining pepper. If you feel it needs more, adjust to your taste. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly cover the bread in foil.
6. Bake for 20 minutes then remove the foil and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the tops appear crisp and the mozzarella is bubbling. Serve warm and with extra pepper if you love a bit of bite.
*I happened to have some smoked butter lurking in the back of the fridge and used it with glorious effect so if you can get your hands on some, it is well worth the effort.
Find more of Katrina Meynink's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.