Let’s take a look at what makes the best Italian subs and how you can craft your own mouthwatering Italian submarine sandwich right in your own kitchen.
Did you know the first Italian sub sandwich was made by an admiral in the Italian navy who would only eat food shaped like the vessels in his command? This came after a litany of failed culinary attempts creating menu items such as aircraft carrier ragu, minesweeper lasagna, and the oft’ forgotten gunboat carbonara. Hey, this is the internet… if I posted it, it must be true, right?
Regardless of where the Italian sub actually originated, there is no reason why you cannot make great ones right in your own kitchen. There is no cooking involved, the key is simply using the right ingredients.
What Meat Goes On An Italian Sub
The star of any great Italian sub sandwich is the meat. My recipe calls for deli ham, salami, and pepperoni mainly because they are each very accessible meats anyone should be able to find at their grocer. There are a variety of different types of ham you can purchase, I am specifically talking about this type of processed deli ham (affiliate link).
However, there is no reason you need to limit yourself to these three cuts of meat. My all-time favorite meat for Italian subs is capicola – a very flavorful dry cured cold cut. Mortadella would also be a great substitute for the ham. I like pairing at least one softer cut like mortadella or deli ham with chewier dry cured meats for the variation of texture it brings to the sandwich.
Italian Sub Toppings
You can get creative with the toppings as well, but tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, shredded lettuce, and sliced pepperoncini are a great place to start. Other ways to customize the sandwich includes black olives or even sweet peppers.
Beyond produce, it is important to add seasonings to your sub if you are looking to replicate that classic taste. A sprinkling of oregano, salt, and pepper is exactly what you need. Italian seasoning can also be used in lieu of oregano.
Italian Sub Dressing
The dressing for an Italian sub can be quite simple. A splash of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar adds moisture and acidity. However, there are other options as well. A red wine vinaigrette would work great, or even Italian dressing if you choose.
Best Sub Bread
The bread you choose for your sub will make or break your sandwich. Anything overly dense or crusty will distract from the sandwich fillings, not to mention wear out your jaw as you chew. Instead, you want a light and airy loaf of fresh Italian bread. Your best bet is to get one from your local bakery. However, sub shops like Erberts and Gerberts also will sell you day-old loaves of bread for practically nothing, which obviously work phenomenally well.
Let's take a look at what makes the best Italian subs and how you can craft your own mouthwatering Italian submarine sandwich right in your own kitchen.
- 12 inch fresh Italian Bread
- 2 slices Provolone Cheese
- 4 slices Genoa Salami
- 4 Slices Pepperoni
- 4 slices Deli Ham
- 1/4 cup Thinly Sliced Onion
- 1 Vine Ripened Tomato (sliced)
- 2 tablespoons sliced Pepperoncini
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 dash Dried Oregano
- Salt and Pepper
All ingredient quantities should be customized to fit your tastes and will vary depending on the size of your bread loaf.
IF YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE check out my Classic Cuban Sandwich recipe too!
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