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Italian Cold Cut Sub

Updated on October 24, 2020
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Lee has a PhD in philosophy, but when cooking, Lee is more like an experimental scientist than an abstract thinker. But lots of ideas.

Classic, Classic, Classic

Each of the Italian deli meats in this sandwich is fabulous by itself. You can choose just one for your sandwich (or salad!) and make a most delicious lunch.

But there's something uniquely satisfying about combining all three into one sandwich.

The ingredients accompanying the meats are pretty tasty also. Most important, really, is the bread. Pick a good sourdough bread, preferably a baguette of some sort --- one wide enough to make a good sandwich. Sourdough bread complements the Italian cold cuts perfectly, adding distinctive flavor to their already delicious flavors.

Let's begin. It's so easy. Italian cold cut sub sandwich

First the bread

We begin by using a sourdough baguette like this one, a little wider than some Cannot be beat.

The sourdough flavor and the baguette crunchiness provide the perfect platform on which the main players can perform.

I would recommend grilling the bread before layering on those main players. Not for a long time, but just so that it is clear the bread has made a trip to the grill. I was in a hurry here, so I forewent the grilling, alas. I have made this sandwich many times, usually with grilled bread, but it is also delicious if you have not grill. If you can fit the bread into your toaster, that would be a good substitute for the grilling.

Add some EVOO

Drizzle on some extra virgin oil olive. (For EVOO, click here.)

Extra virgin olive oil was made in Mediterranean heaven to go with these Italian meats and is the only condiment needed. It complements the meats, playing the same melody. No dissonant notes.

Drizzle on as much as you want. Actually, after all these pictures were taken, I decided to drizzle on a good bit more. In for a penny, in for a pound. Just keep in mind that some of the extra virgin olive oil may drip out. That would be a shame, but on the other hand it might be delicious.

Begin with soppressata

Soppressata, a particularly flavorful dry Italian salami, is a specialty of southern Italy, particularly Calabria (the toe of the boot which Italy is shaped like), and it sometimes includes hot pepper. The meat used for making soppressata can be ground, or it can be more coarsely pressed, in which case the slices have an appealing rustic look to them.

The one shown here, however,is a standard good-quality soppressata that goes well with the other meats. You could add a second layer of soppressata if you want a really thick sandwich.

There is another type of soppressata produced in Tuscany; it's good, too. If you have this sandwich often, vary the meats.

Next the capicola

Often simply called "coppa," this is another dry salami. In this case the salami is made from pork shoulder or neck ("coppa" means nape).

The taste is somewhat milder -- some would say more subtle -- than soppressata, and it looks quite different, too, the fatty content in particular. Prepared with wine (usually red), garlic, salt, and herbs and spices that differ regionally, the meat is then stuffed into casings and hung out to dry cure for up to six months.

A famous variety is produced is Calabria, but Tuscany, Lazio, Basilicata, and Umbria also produce first-class capicola.

Prosciutto

The word "prosciutto" essentially means "to dry" or "dried," and the meat is made from a pig's thigh or hind leg. The drying process can take up to two years. Two years!

The most famous type is made in Parma, and prosciutto is sometimes called Parma ham. However, very good prosciutto is made not only in other places in Italy, but in neighboring countries. I like one that is made in Germany, which is what is shown here.

Prosciutto is the most versatile of the meats in this sandwich. Perhaps best known as a wrap for melon, it in fact appears in numerous recipes.

I promise a future "Pasta - with Prosciutto" -- but warning: you might become addicted. Let's stick with prosciutto as a layer in this delicious sandwich for the present moment.

A couple of slices of Roma tomato

Flavor and color.

Flavor: obviously, any other type of tomato could be used here. The important thing is that Italian meats like this and tomatoes deserve to be together, and we can thank this union for stimulating our taste buds to heights they might not have imagined.

Color: beautiful, just plain beautiful, the red standing out on the layers of meat.

The mouthwatering finale

All the players return for a final bow. Soon the stage will be empty!

The size of this sandwich is easy to vary, depending on how hungry we are. Even something half this size would be immensely satisfying, and would serve for a light lunch.

Bigger

Parting facts

Other Italian cold cuts can be used here as well, in addition to those shown or in place of one or the other. Mortadella is an obvious choice. And there is no end to types of salami beyond the soppressata shown here; just about any one of these would be a good choice.

The key thing about this sandwich, it should not be forgotten, is that its special flavor arises from a combination of Italian old cuts. A sandwich featuring just one or another of these would be delicious, but there is something special in the combination of different types.

Real meal

Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.

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