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Jun 16, 2008 02:33 PM

Autogrill rest stops

I was in Italy in 2005, and the group I was traveling with stopped at an Autogrill. I got one of their paninis, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was called. I know it was on a baguette, and had prosciutto, spinach, and some sort of soft cheese (along the lines of ricotta, but not). Honestly, and this is odd to say, but it was probably the best sandwich I've ever had, especially since it was so simple. I'm trying to find out what it was called so I can get the rest of the recipe. Anyone have any ideas?

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  1. Autogrill does, it seems, give names to their panini, but if it's their "creation", I doubt that you would find a recipe for it.

    Could the cheese have been mascarpone?

    1. This idiotic quiz show I watch in the evening while I'm cooking had a question on names of Autogrill panini (please! one panino, two panini; "paninis" doesn’t exist). I was fascinated and Googled them and found quite a bit, but this morning nothing I found was useful, not even on But that doesn’t mean a little diligence couldn’t produce results...

      1. Wasn't it called Piadina?
        I use to stop in those autogrills all the time when going to Italy and honestly I've never eaten anything bad in there....

        1 Reply
        1. re: Vanzzz

          It might be piadina if you were in Emilia-Romagna. Thats typical there.

        2. I'm pretty sure the name of the cheese is stracchino. It's a soft white cheese, not exactly spreadable and is fairly neutral in flavor. They make a similar sandwich at this place I go to and call in an "emiliano". Instead of spinach they put in rucola though.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mguida

            The two best sandwiches that AutoGrill has are the Olivia (panini made with large chunks of olive in the bread) and Capri (mortadella and provolone). You can make these even better by spending another E 6 and buying the Calabrian hot pepper spread that they sell.

            1. re: Joe H

              Can you tell me what else is in the capri? I want to make my own.

              1. re: Joe H

                I'm partial to the chicken cutlet (Milanese) and the "Popeye" (spinach and mozzarella).

              2. re: mguida

                I tried this too ---it's too gooey

              3. Sorry for being off topic, but Oh my, Just the thought of the place reminds me of how good their cappuccino was, and for .90 E !
                People here at home don't believe me when I tell them the cappuccino at a gas station in italy is far better than anything here in the states! Loved the sandwiches as well!

                2 Replies
                1. re: mdobson

                  I feel ya. The contrast between the US's industrial, cheap-food, roadside blech and Italy's Autogrill couldn't be more stark. I love the holiday displays of regional sweets, too. Never gonna find that at a US truck stop.

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    Hungry Celeste, thank you for a great website! Really enjoyed reading it. We will toast you next week at the AutoGrill. We'll each order a panini and I'll add the Calabrian hot peppers to mine. And a Coke Light for the parking lot where we'll scarf them down. Still, a quick, but great meal that we can't find on a highway in the U. S. Frankly, the AutoGrill really does have a great deal in common with California's In-n-Out Burger: in each of their own ways they are memorable.

                    Of course, I should add that I have similar memories for a half dozen or more dishes in Louisiana! Actually, when I think about it, I'm really not so sure that we will be eating any better in Italy than you will in your back yard...