How to Make Soppressata: A Clear and Confident Guide

Soppressata is a dry-cured Italian salami that is popular all over the world. It is made using a combination of pork, spices, and other ingredients, and it is typically aged for several months to develop its unique flavor and texture. While it may seem intimidating to make at home, with the right ingredients and equipment, anyone can learn how to make soppressata.

To get started making soppressata, it is important to first understand the basic process involved. This includes selecting the right ingredients, such as pork shoulder or ham, as well as spices like fennel, garlic, and paprika. You will also need to invest in some specialized equipment, such as a meat grinder, sausage stuffer, and curing chamber, to ensure that your soppressata turns out perfectly. Once you have everything you need, the preparation process involves grinding the meat, mixing in the spices, stuffing the sausage casings, and then hanging them to dry and cure for several months.

Overall, learning how to make soppressata is a rewarding experience that can help you develop a deeper appreciation for this classic Italian salami. With the right ingredients, equipment, and preparation process, anyone can create delicious soppressata in the comfort of their own home.

Key Takeaways

  • Making soppressata involves selecting the right ingredients, investing in specialized equipment, and following a specific preparation process.
  • The preparation process involves grinding the meat, mixing in the spices, stuffing the sausage casings, and then hanging them to dry and cure for several months.
  • With the right ingredients and equipment, anyone can learn how to make delicious soppressata at home.

Piero’s Recipe from the video:

  • Course Mince pork (350g belly, 600g Loin)
  • 50g Pork back fat
  • Salami skin
  • 20g Sweet paprika
  • 30g Sea Salt
  • 3g Black Pepper
  • 2g Black peppercorns
  • 100g Red Pepper sauce

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Understanding Soppressata

Soppressata is a type of Italian dry sausage that is made from a mixture of lean and fat cut or minced pork, seasoned with salt, dried chili peppers, black peppercorns, and red wine. The red wine adds a depth of flavor, while the dried chili peppers and black peppercorns provide more a feeling of warmth rather than outright heat. Soppressata is a popular salami that is often served as an appetizer or used in sandwiches.

Soppressata is believed to have originated in the Calabria region of southern Italy, where it was made from the leftover parts of the pig that were not used for other types of sausage. The name “soppressata” comes from the Italian word “soppressare,” which means to press down or compress. This refers to the process of compressing the meat mixture into a sausage casing.

There are many different types of soppressata, each with its own unique flavor profile. Perhaps the most popular type of soppressata is the sopressa Vicentina from the Veneto region of Italy. This variety is made from a mixture of lean and fat pork, flavored with garlic, black pepper, and white wine.

Soppressata can be made as a dry-cured sausage or as a salami, depending on the region and the specific recipe. The dry-curing process involves hanging the sausage in a cool, dry place for several weeks or months, allowing it to develop its characteristic flavor and texture. The salami-making process involves curing the sausage in a warm, humid environment for a shorter period of time.

Overall, soppressata is a delicious and versatile Italian sausage that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether served as an appetizer, used in sandwiches, or added to pasta dishes, soppressata is sure to please any meat lover’s palate.

Ingredients Needed

When it comes to making soppressata, selecting the right ingredients is crucial. The ingredients needed for making soppressata can be divided into three categories: meat selection, seasonings, and additional ingredients.

Meat Selection

The main ingredient in soppressata is pork, and selecting the right cuts of pork is essential for a successful outcome. The ideal cut of meat for soppressata is boneless pork shoulder, which has a good balance of lean meat and fat. Pork back fat is another essential ingredient that provides the necessary fat content for the sausage.


The seasonings used in soppressata give the sausage its unique flavor. The most common seasonings include salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Other spices such as garlic, clove, and white pepper can also be used to enhance the flavor. Kosher salt is a popular choice among sausage makers for its purity and lack of additives.

Additional Ingredients

In addition to the meat and seasonings, soppressata also requires additional ingredients to achieve the desired texture and flavor. Lard is often added to the sausage mixture to provide a smooth texture, while distilled water is used to help distribute the seasonings evenly. Red wine and vinegar can be added to enhance the flavors, while natural flavors such as nonfat dry milk powder and dextrose can be used to improve the overall taste.

When making soppressata, it is important to have the right equipment, including a meat grinder, casings, and a curing chamber. The casings used for soppressata are typically made from hog or beef intestines and can be purchased from a butcher or online. It is also important to follow proper food safety guidelines when handling raw meat to prevent contamination.

Overall, making soppressata requires a careful selection of ingredients and attention to detail to achieve the desired flavor and texture. With the right ingredients and equipment, anyone can make delicious homemade soppressata.

Equipment Required

Making soppressata requires a few key pieces of equipment. These include grinding equipment, filling equipment, and curing equipment. Here is a breakdown of each type of equipment needed:

Grinding Equipment

To make soppressata, you will need a meat grinder. A meat grinder is an essential piece of equipment that allows you to grind the meat to the desired texture. There are many different types of meat grinders available, ranging from manual hand-crank models to electric models. For making soppressata, it is recommended to use a meat grinder with a large die.

Filling Equipment

Once the meat is ground, it needs to be stuffed into casings. For this, you will need a sausage stuffer. A sausage stuffer is a machine that allows you to fill casings with ground meat. There are many different types of sausage stuffers available, ranging from manual models to electric models. For making soppressata, it is recommended to use a sausage stuffer with a medium die.

Curing Equipment

After the meat is stuffed into casings, it needs to be cured. For this, you will need a meat curing chamber or fermentation chamber. A meat curing chamber is a specialized refrigerator that allows you to control the temperature and humidity levels for the curing process. If you do not have access to a meat curing chamber, you can use a regular refrigerator, but you will need to monitor the temperature and humidity levels closely.

In addition to the above equipment, you may also need a meat mixer or standing mixer to mix the ingredients together before grinding the meat. You can find all of the necessary equipment at a butcher store or online.

Preparation Process

Meat Preparation

To make soppressata, the meat needs to be prepared properly. Pork loin or other lean pork cuts are the best options for this dry-cured sausage. Before grinding the meat, it should be chilled to around 32°F (0°C) to make the grinding process easier. Once chilled, the meat can be ground using a meat grinder with a fine grinding plate. It is important to remove any sinew or gristle from the meat before grinding to ensure a smooth texture.

Seasoning and Mixing

The next step is to season and mix the ground meat. The seasoning typically includes kosher salt, ground black pepper, and dried chili peppers. Some recipes also call for other additives like garlic, fennel seeds, or red wine. The seasoning should be mixed thoroughly with the ground meat, and then the mixture should be chilled again to make it easier to handle.

Filling the Casings

After the meat is prepared and seasoned, it is time to fill the casings. Sausage casings are typically used for soppressata, and they can be purchased online or at specialty stores. The casings should be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before filling to make them more pliable. Once the casings are ready, the meat mixture can be stuffed into them using a sausage stuffer or a funnel. It is important to avoid air pockets in the casings, as they can lead to spoilage during the curing process.

Pressing and Curing

Once the casings are filled, the soppressata needs to be pressed and cured. The sausage should be placed in a container or mold and pressed to remove any air pockets. The curing process typically involves hanging the soppressata in a curing chamber with controlled temperature and humidity. The ideal temperature for curing is around 55°F (13°C), and the humidity should be kept between 70-80%. Curing can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on the desired flavor and texture. It is important to use curing salts like Cure #2 or Insta Cure #2 to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria during the curing process. Starter cultures like Bactoferm F-RM-52 can also be added to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and improve the flavor of the sausage.

Overall, making homemade soppressata is a rewarding process that requires patience and attention to detail. With the right ingredients, equipment, and techniques, anyone can create delicious, dry-cured sausage that is perfect for pizza, sandwiches, or charcuterie boards.


Serving Soppressata

Soppressata is a versatile cured meat that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas for serving soppressata:

On a Charcuterie Board

Soppressata is a popular addition to charcuterie boards, which are a great way to entertain guests or enjoy a casual meal with family and friends. A charcuterie board typically includes a variety of cured meats, cheeses, crackers, and other accompaniments. Soppressata pairs well with a variety of cheeses, such as aged cheddar, gouda, or brie. It also goes well with olives, pickles, and other salty or acidic items.

In Recipes

Soppressata can also be used as an ingredient in recipes. It adds a salty, savory flavor to dishes and pairs well with a variety of other ingredients. Here are a few ideas for incorporating soppressata into your cooking:

  • Pizza: Top your pizza with soppressata, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite vegetables for a delicious and easy meal.
  • Pasta: Add soppressata to your favorite pasta dish for a protein boost and extra flavor.
  • Frittata: Use soppressata instead of bacon or ham in your frittata for a unique twist on this classic dish.

When cooking with soppressata, keep in mind that it is a salty meat, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt in your recipe accordingly.

No matter how you choose to serve soppressata, it pairs well with a variety of wines. Pinot bianco, a light and crisp white wine, is a great choice for soppressata and other cured meats. Its acidity helps cut through the richness of the meat and cheese, while its fruit flavors complement the salty and savory flavors of the soppressata.

Overall, soppressata is a delicious and versatile cured meat that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you’re entertaining guests or cooking for your family, soppressata is sure to be a hit.

Safety Precautions

When making Soppressata, it is important to take certain safety precautions to ensure that the final product is safe to consume. Here are some of the key things to keep in mind:

Use High-Quality Ingredients

One of the most important things to do when making Soppressata is to use high-quality ingredients. This includes using fresh, high-quality pork and other meats, as well as high-quality spices and seasonings. Using low-quality ingredients can increase the risk of foodborne illness, so it is important to source your ingredients carefully.

Follow Proper Food Safety Protocols

In addition to using high-quality ingredients, it is also important to follow proper food safety protocols when making Soppressata. This includes washing your hands and work surfaces thoroughly before beginning, as well as keeping all equipment and utensils clean and sanitized. It is also important to keep the meat at the proper temperature throughout the curing process to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Use Additives and Beneficial Bacteria

To help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and ensure that the Soppressata cures properly, it is common to use additives and beneficial bacteria. For example, some recipes call for the use of lactic acid or mold cultures to help control the pH and prevent spoilage. It is important to follow the recipe carefully and use the recommended amounts of any additives or beneficial bacteria.

Monitor the Curing Process Carefully

Throughout the curing process, it is important to monitor the Soppressata carefully to ensure that it is curing properly and that there are no signs of spoilage. This includes checking the temperature and humidity levels regularly, as well as inspecting the meat for any signs of mold or other issues.

By following these safety precautions, you can help ensure that your homemade Soppressata is safe to consume and delicious to eat.


Making soppressata at home can be a fun and rewarding experience for those who love cured meats. While the process can be time-consuming and requires some specialized equipment, the end result is a delicious and unique salami that can be enjoyed for months.

To start, it’s important to source high-quality meat and spices. Using fresh, organic pork and a blend of flavorful spices can make all the difference in the final product. It’s also important to follow all safety guidelines when handling and processing raw meat.

Once the meat is ground and seasoned, it needs to be stuffed into casings and hung to dry. This process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the desired level of dryness and flavor.

While making soppressata may seem daunting at first, with a little patience and practice, anyone can create a delicious and authentic Italian salami at home. And the satisfaction of enjoying a slice of homemade soppressata is well worth the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal temperature for curing soppressata?

The ideal temperature for curing soppressata is between 55-65°F (13-18°C). The temperature must be kept consistent throughout the curing process to ensure the desired texture and flavor.

What are the best casings to use for soppressata?

Natural casings, such as hog or beef casings, are the best for making soppressata. These casings allow for proper air circulation during the curing process and help to create the traditional shape and texture of the salami.

Can soppressata be made with venison?

Yes, soppressata can be made with venison. However, it is important to note that the lean meat of venison may require additional fat to achieve the desired texture and flavor.

Where can I buy high-quality soppressata?

High-quality soppressata can be found at specialty food stores, Italian markets, and online retailers. It is important to choose a reputable source to ensure the quality and authenticity of the product.

How long should I press my soppressata?

Soppressata should be pressed for at least 24 hours to remove any air pockets and create a firm texture. The length of time may vary depending on the size and shape of the salami.

Is cooking soppressata necessary?

No, cooking soppressata is not necessary. It is traditionally served thinly sliced and eaten as a cured meat. However, it can also be cooked and used in various recipes as a flavoring ingredient.

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Cooking With An Italian

Ciao I am Piero coming all the way from Puglia Italy. I created this site to bring my love of food to all, hope you enjoy.