How To Make An Italian Meat Tray
Italian Meats For An Antipasto
These are the Italian meats I serve with roast peppers, vinegar marinated peppers, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, provolone and mozzarella cheeses, to make an antipasto. The word antipasto means "before the meal", and it is the first course of my Italian dinners. It's easy to make an antipasto like this and your guests will love it.
The meats I use in my antipasto are:
Pancetta is unsmoked bacon and it comes from the fatty area of a pig's abdomen. It is often served raw, although you can cook it. You will sometimes see it used with eggs, chicken breasts and other Italian recipes.
You will find Pancetta comes in two varieties. They are arrotolata, which is rolled, and the stesa, which is flat. They taste the same so you can buy either style, it's all depends on which style you like to serve.
Prosciutto is also a pork. It's cured in salt brine. Depending on which area of Italy it is produced in, it can also be cured with wine, peppers, and other herbs. It is served uncooked. Often you will find it wrapped around a piece of melon or asparagus, served as an appetizer. You can use it in cooking, or serve it up as a sandwich.
Salami is another Italian meat whose taste varies depending on the region of Italy it was made. It is usually made of pork but you can find salami that comes from donkey, boar, deer, sheep, ducks, beef, and veal. Salami is a sausage. The meat is ground up, salted, and spiced. Sometimes there is wine or vinegar added to the mix as well. It is put into a casing and left to dry and ferment. Salami is always served at my home with cheese, crackers, and bread. It's pretty much a staple here as a party appetizer.
Soppressata - Making Salami at Home w/UMAi Dry®
Soppressata is my favorite Italian meat. I make a sandwich on a roll and it's always on my antipasto tray. It is another pork product similar to salami. The meat is usually pressed instead of being ground up. It is stuffed into a casing and then cured. It can be quite spicy, but again, that depends on the region it is made in.
When you see Mortadella you might think it's baloney. It is usually called "real baloney". It is made with lard and pork. It is often made with pistachio, garlic, and sometimes truffles are added to it as seasoning. It is a great addition to an antipasto, or can be used as a lunch meat served with rolls.
Italian Deli Meats - Mortadella Baloney
Antipasto Platter How To/Recipe Video - Laura Vitale "Laura In The Kitchen" Episode 6
Vegetables Used For An Antipasto Tray
Antipasto trays are often made with cut up, marinated vegetables. I like to use artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, garlic, and olives. You can also use fruit like melons and grapes.
- Marinated artichoke hearts
- Sliced tomatoes marinated in Italian dressing or balsamic vinegar
- Roasted red and yellow peppers
- Grilled vegetables
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
Add Some Bread To Your Table
Add some bread or crackers to your table so your guests can enjoy the antipasto meats as a sandwich. Bruschetta, chopped up tomatoes, onions, sprinkled with some basil and balsamic vinegar also makes a nice addition to this first course.