In 1957, Charlene Roth received a booklet distributed by the phone company that contained a Sunset recipe for a hot sandwich. The sandwich fit her budget and the tastes of her growing family. Over the years, she made the recipe hundreds of times and gradually streamlined the method and slashed some fat. Now, according to daughter Alene Roth, Charlene's children perpetuate this sandwich legacy for their own families.
1 loaf (1 lb.) French sourdough bread
6 thin pieces (each about 4 in. wide; 1 1/2 oz. total) sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
3/4 pound ground lean (7% fat) beef or ground turkey
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup purchased marinara sauce or pizza sauce
1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Split loaf in half horizontally. Scoop out soft centers, making top and bottom bread shells about 1/2 inch thick. Reserve centers for another use. Set bread shells, cupped side up, on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Bake in a 400° oven until bread is toasted, about 8 minutes.
Line bread shell cavities with mozzarella, overlapping slices as needed, and draping onto the rim of the bread.
In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat, frequently stir meat, mushrooms, and oregano until meat is browned and crumbly, 7 to 8 minutes. Add half the marinara sauce, half the olives, 3/4 cup onions, and salt and pepper to taste.
Fill bread shells equally with meat mixture. Top meat filling with remaining marinara sauce, olives, and onions. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake in a 400° oven until hot throughout, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut crosswise into 2- to 3-inch sections.