Homemade Italian Soppressata

Soppressata and coppa hanging
Alan Fishleder/Getty Images
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 soppressata (4-6 servings)

There are several different types of charcuterie called ​soppressata (meaning "pressed down") in Italy. Some are dry, cured salamis, which are usually pressed during curing hence the name and the slightly flat shape, while the Tuscan version is a large, uncured, cooked sausage. 

The version that has become most well-known in the U.S. originates in the Veneto region and is no longer pressed, so it doesn't have a flattened shape, but is instead round like most other salamis. This recipe is closest to that version. 

The meat in soppressata is not as finely ground as in some other salamis. It should have large, distinct chunks of fat and meat so make sure to use a coarse grind on your meat grinder.


  • Black peppercorns
  • Ground cloves (to taste)
  • 6 1/2 pounds of pork meat (a combination of loin and other lean cuts)
  • 1 pound lard (a block of fat)
  • 1 pound pork side (the cut used to make bacon)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup grappa
  • Sausage casing
  • Vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grind the peppercorns and cloves together in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

  3. Clean the meat well, trimming away all traces of gristle.

  4. Chop it with the lard and the pork side.

  5. Put the meat through a meat grinder and transfer the ground meat to a large bowl.

  6. Mix the spices and salt into the meat and work the mixture well to distribute the spices evenly.

  7. Mix in the grappa.

  8. Wash the casing well in vinegar.

  9. Dry it thoroughly and rub it with a mixture of salt and well-ground pepper. Shake away the excess.

  10. Using a sausage stuffer, fill the casing, pressing down so as to expel all air.

  11. Twist the ends of the casing shut and tie the salami with string.

  12. Hang for two to three days in a warm place and then for a couple of months in a cool, dry, drafty spot.

  13. The soppressata is ready when it's lost about 30 percent of its weight.

  14. When ready, cut into thin slices and display on a charcuterie board.

    Food Safety and Sausage Making

    Since cured sausages are sausages made fresh and then salted and air-dried for weeks or months depending on the type, proper temperature and humidity control are important to avoid making contaminated sausages. The meat gets "cooked" by the salt and air (and, in a way, time). Spanish chorizo, coppa, and Genoa salami are just a few examples of cured sausages.