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La Dolce Vita (Italian: The Good Life) Burger

My name is Marybeth I live in Brick NJ. I am very happy to say that this is the 2nd recipe I am entering. I saw the advertisement for this contest in one of my many, many, many, grocery store cookbook pick ups, at the beginning of the summer. Since then I have been working diligently trying to create the best burger recipe to enter in the contest. I am very happy I was able to come up with two. I am a very hard-working stay at home Mom with four children. For the last 10 years (my oldest child is 9). The kitchen has been my salvation. I love experimenting and creating new recipes. This contest was perfect for me (the first I have entered) because I am a burger buff and the 50K would go a long way in my house. I grill outside all year long, even during the cold NJ winters. This burger is a tribute to my husbands heritage and my love of italian food. Burgers are my passion and I am so excited about entering this contest!


2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup spicy jar tomato sauce 
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
12 Prosciutto ham slices -thinly sliced
3tsp + 1 TBSP Colavita olive oil
1 medium red onion
1-2 medium beefsteak tomatoes
18 fresh arugula leaves washed well, dryed and chilled
6 kaiser rolls
2 fresh garlic cloves peeled and cut in half
6 tsp goat cheese (brought to room temp)
Vegetable oil for grill


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Chop Basil. Add Basil to tomato sauce, mix well. Add to tomato sauce, 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, mix well. Add sauce mixture to ground chuck. Combine well, but gently, handling meat as little as possible so it does not compact. Divide in 6 equal portions. Form 6 patties. Brush prosciutto slices with 1 tsp of the Colavita Olive Oil. Use 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper to sprinkle over prosciutto slices, set aside. Slice 6 thin slices from red onion, set aside, until serving. Slice tomato(s) in 6 medium thick slices, use 1 tsp of Colavita Olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, toss to coat tomatoes, set aside until serving. In a separate bowl use 1 tsp Colavita Olive Oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, toss and coat clean dry chilled arugula, refrigerate, set aside until serving. Brush grill rack with oil. Place prosciutto slices on grill and cook approximately 30-45 seconds on each side, remove from grill, set aside until serving. Lightly oil grill rack again. Add patties to grill, cover and cook for approximately 4 minutes until bottoms are brown. Turn, cover and cook for approximately another 5 minutes (or desired doneness). After turning burgers (during the last 5 minutes of cooking) slice kaiser rolls and vigorously rub cut sides of rolls with cut sides of fresh garlic cloves. Brush cut sides of rolls using 1 TBSP of Colavita olive oil, season rolls by using 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper to sprinkle over. Add rolls to outer edge of grill and toast lightly. Immediately after removing rolls from grill, spread rolls (cut top side) with softened/room temp goat cheese about 1 tsp for each roll. Prepare: Place pattie on cut bottom of roll. Top pattie with 2 slices of grilled prosciutto, 1 thin slice of red onion, 3 argula leaves, and 1 tomato slice. Serve promptly


I love this burger the sweetness of the tomato and red onion works perfectly with the salty prosciutto and peppery arugula. The Colavita olive oil brings all the flavors together into a perfect finish.