Here’s the beef

Illustration By Mark Stivers

Ten years ago, on our first big trip, my now-husband and I went to Rome. He was giving a paper, and our luggage got lost. (To this day, the Italian phrase I say most fluently is “Where are our bags?”) It wasn’t the perfect romantic getaway, but I did fall in love—with a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop just off the Piazza Navona. Customers went down a line and pointed at what they wanted—bresaola, rucola, parmigiana, limone—and it was all piled high on fresh-baked, oily focaccia. The star was the bresaola, thin-sliced, cured, air-dried beef, salty and savory and offset perfectly by the peppery arugula. For years after we got back, I found it only rarely, but imported bresaola is available at Corti Brothers (for a price), ready to build a sandwich or enhance an antipasto platter. I went back to Rome a couple of years ago, and the sandwich shop had disappeared, but now I can re-create my favorite sandwich anytime. 5810 Folsom Boulevard, (916) 736-3800,