“The Antipasto” (Homemade)

Today’s sandwich is “The Antipasto.” It combines Genoa salami, spicy pepperoni, sliced provolone, pepperoncini peppers, sun dried tomatoes, an artichoke and olive tapenade, and anchovy mayonnaise on thick slices of Italian bread.

Notes: On the holidays of my childhood, we would gather around bedsheet-covered card tables with my mothers aunts, uncles, cousins, their kids, my grandparents, great-grandmother, and somebody’s Uncle Vinny, in order to celebrate, that is, to eat. There would be a baked macaroni dish drowning in red sauce, usually lasagna or stuffed shells. Brown shopping bags full of loaves of sliced Italian bread from the grocer. Platters of marinated orange slices, furry little anchovies, celery, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, oil-cured olives and dun dried tomatoes with salami, capiocola, provolone and table cheese. And that was all before the main course, a ham, turkey, or rack of lamb, depending on the day, served with steamed vegetables, a salad, cranberry sauce and potatoes. Later, pie and pastries and coffee. And many games of Pokeno when it was cold and Bocce when it was warm outside.

Antipasto is still my favorite part of the traditional family meal, or any meal. When I would visit my grandmother in recent years, in her little cottage condo by the sea, she would always have my favorite small plate treats waiting for me – stuffed artichokes, cured meats, stinky cheese, fried peppers and eggplant and a room temperature fritatta. And lots and lots of bread. She was also required to have a jug of strong red table wine, articles clipped from the local newspaper and a box of Andes candies just for me. We would sit and talk at her kitchen table and wait for the mailman to come or a trip out to the shops and the local evening news and maybe a screening of a classic film, some chocolate pudding, and straight to bed by eleven.

This sandwich has it all. All the best components of an antipasto dish piled up into a meal.

Antipasto Sandwich

The Antipasto
Makes one big sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 thick slices rustic Italian bread
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 marinated artichoke heart
  • 6 mixed, pitted olives, including pimento-stuffed, kalamata, and castelvetrano
  • 4-6 slices Genoa salami
  • 4-6 slices sandwich-sized pepperoni
  • 1 slice provolone cheese, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon sundried tomato spread
  • 2 tablespoons pepperoncini peppers

Method:

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and anchovy paste, and stir well to combine.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse marinated artichoke and olives into a coarse spread.

Antipasto Sandwich

Spread the bottom of one slice of bread with the anchovy mayonnaise. Top with pepperoni, then salami, then provolone. Top with a layer of the artichoke and olive mixture.

Spread the other slice of bread with the sundried tomato spread, then top with sliced pepperocinis. Using the blade of a knife to help hold the sandwich together while you flip, carefully fold the two sides of the sandwich together. Slice and serve.

Antipasto Sandwich

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road. She creates content on the internet, on subjects ranging from summer camps to semi-precious stones to the folklore of food. With Malcolm, Jillian was one of the original “Insiders,” for the Visit Maine tourism campaign. She loves telling the stories of her adopted state, finding out-of-the-way places, and people making interesting things. Watching her daughters play in the wild woods and fields of Cushing makes her very happy.

2 Comments

  1. Antipasto is the best! Love the idea of throwing it all on to a sandwich, every bit would be so tasty. I reckon this would be even better cooked in a sandwich press to get the cheese all gooey and have the flavours melt together. It’s 8am here in Australia and you’ve made me hungry for lunch already!

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