Sopressata Panini (The Best Sandwich I Never Had)

As my husband and I were contemplating which favorite sandwiches we would contribute to my upcoming Panini Happy Guides to Great Sandwiches, we remembered one in particular…a hot sopressata sandwich with mozzarella and pesto from our babymoon trip three years ago. An amazing sandwich that I never actually got a chance to try myself.

Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Seattle, WA
Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Seattle, WA (Photo:

Once we arrived in Seattle that August we could not resist the call of Salumi, the renowned cured meats shop owned by chef Mario Batali’s father, Armandino. It’s this tiny, narrow little storefront with a perpetual line out the door, or so we’d heard. Luckily, on a weekday afternoon at 3 o’clock things had settled down a bit. A number of items had already been scrubbed off of the chalkboard by then, but the hot sopressata sandwich was still available.

As Mike eagerly ordered the sopressata – a spicy pork salami with garlic – I stood there longingly. Five months pregnant with our first child, cured meats were off the table for me, so to speak. While I made do with a rice salad (comforted by the fact that the elder Mr. Batali was having the same at a small table across from us), Mike savored his garlicky house-made salami. Three years later, he’s still talking about it.

While the sopressata I bought in the supermarket to make today’s panini was no match for the high-quality artisan-made product I could have had at Salumi, it still delighted my tastebuds. The best way I can think of to describe it is “pizza-like”, probably because the sopressata reminds me a bit of large-scale pepperoni. That, combined with stretchy fresh mozzarella and zesty pesto, makes an incredibly mouthwatering, flavor-packed sandwich. Mike can’t recall whether the one he had in Seattle was grilled or not, but I went ahead and grilled mine anyway. So this is what he’s been raving about all this time!
Sopressata Panini with Fresh Mozzarella & Pesto


Sopressata Panini with Fresh Mozzarella & Pesto
Inspired by the Hot Sopressata Sandwich at Salumi in Seattle, WA

Makes 4 panini


4 ciabatta rolls or 1 ciabatta loaf, cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup pesto
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
12 slices sopressata or salami


Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

Split the ciabatta lengthwise to create top and bottom halves.

For each sandwich: Spread 1-2 tablespoons of pesto inside each bread half. On the bottom half layer several slices of cheese and several slices of sopressata. Close the sandwich with the top half.

Grill 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Cut in half, serve immediately and enjoy!



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. sara wrote:

    Mmmmmmmm, this looks absoultely delicious! Yum. 🙂

    Posted 1.17.11 Reply
  2. Amy wrote:

    I’m all over this one…printing.

    Posted 1.18.11 Reply
  3. moowiesqrd wrote:

    I love Salumi! I had the lomo sandwich when I was there and have been thinking about it ever since. I even had lomo shipped to San Diego for the holidays and I have a little bit left. Will have to try this recipe with it. 🙂

    Posted 1.18.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      What a great idea – I should place an order from them sometime!

      Posted 1.18.11 Reply
  4. Cubicle wrote:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Salumi…and this sandwich gives me another reason to seek it out one day. But for now, I think I’ll try making this panini at home. Yum!

    Posted 1.18.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Definitely put Salumi on your must-visit list – it’s a real gem!

      Posted 1.18.11 Reply
  5. Taylor wrote:

    I just lived in Seattle for 5 months on an internship and sadly I never had a chance to visit Salumi…what a shame!! At least I have a recipe to make now that can show me what I missed!

    Posted 1.19.11 Reply
  6. I learned about Salumi a few years ago. That Sopressata Panini looks awesome! I’m definitely making a trip to Salumi on my next trip to Seattle!!!

    Posted 1.19.11 Reply
  7. yum! made these last night, thanks for the recipe. even my wife was pleased with it.

    Posted 1.27.11 Reply
  8. Amy wrote:

    fyi – I made this sandwich 3x last week. Nom nom nom.

    Posted 2.1.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      That good, eh? That’s awesome! 🙂

      Posted 2.1.11 Reply
  9. My husband and I spent a long weekend in Seattle a few years ago and we were lucky enough to be 5th in line at Salumi prior to opening. Everything we tried from the sandwiches, the cured meat platter, to the tuna and white bean salad (yes, we stuffed ourselves) was delicious. Thanks for the inspiration recipe.

    Posted 5.21.11 Reply