… And for once, it’s not pizza. Nope, this time it’s something saucier, naughtier, and meatier: the Cuzzetiello. Kind of like a meatball sub on steroids, the Neapolitan sandwich is an absolute classic in Naples, so much so, it’s officially dubbed the Sunday lunch of the Italian city. And we Brits know just how important Sunday lunch is.
Completely worthy of a Joey Tribbiani moment, it’s the kind of sandwich you have to get all over your face and down your arms to do it the justice it deserves – with ragu typically dripping down the sides of the saucy package. Made with cafone bread, the crusty dish was born out of love, served up by Neapolitan mothers and including a full, hearty meal stuffed inside – traditionally, ragu and meatballs.
Now, many years later, it’s a street food classic – with fillings such as Nutella, veggies, stews and more being stuffed inside the homely bread. And the best part of all? It’s here in Manchester.
Brought to us by new kids on the block, MIRA, the Cuzzetiello can be enjoyed in three variations: the Diego, the Balls and the Juicy ‘Gine.
First up is the Diego. A hearty creation that’s sure to ignite some Grandmotherly nostalgia in all of us. Filled up with Genovese stew – a highly popular dish in Naples – the sandwich is filled with beef brisket, salumi and onions, and is considered a pretty special Cuzzetiello back in its homeland.
Next is the absolute classic. The Balls. Given its name not only because it really is the balls, but because it’s stuffed with them, too, this sandwich is as traditional as you can get – packed with 12-hour slow-cooked beef and pork meatballs, which are lathered in a moreish, Neapolitan ragu. The filling is then paired with Fior Di Latte mozzarella and basil – resulting in MIRA’s sauciest sandwich to date.
Last up is the vegan Juicy ‘Gine, which is a tasty spin on one of the now-popular Neapolitan street food versions of the giant sandwich. The ‘Gine is filled with smoky aubergine parmigiana, alongside MIRA’s own cashew cheese, juicy aubergines, fresh basil and pine nuts. And you’d be wrong to assume that this one was less saucy than the others, with the cashew cheese really stealing the show – a flavour worth a try for both vegans and non-vegans alike.
Taking up residence at Ancoats General Store this month pub as well as at Gas Works Brew Bar on First Street, it’s not hard to see why locals have been going absolutely pazzesco for the saucy sarnies. The sandwich makers are even serving up some breakfast sarnies including a bacon and cheddar melt and ones with Grandad’s Sausages Lincolnshire rings and vegan sausage patties.
In addition to their core menu, MIRA also experiments with a number of wild cards, too, which occasionally pop up for Mancs to get their hands on. Want more info on how to get your hands on one? Keep up with the latest over on their Instagram here.