The spicy and pungent flavors of soppressata gives this classic Italian dish satisfying pops of flavor while the fontina adds creaminess to the tomato sauce and smoothens the acidity. The ultimate Italian comfort food, ziti pasta makes a simple and hearty base that clings to a delicious tomato sauce. It all comes together with a garnish of fresh chopped parsley and basil for fragrant aromatics.
A southern Italian tradition, soppressata is a
dry cured salami typically prepared with ham. Depending on the variety, which
varies by region, the spiciness can range from mild to medium or hot. Soppressata
is often seasoned with Italian herbs like basil, oregano, and garlic, giving it
a pepperoni-like flavor that adds a meaty kick to red pasta sauces.
Originally produced in the Italian Valle d’Aosta, fontina is a semi soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s a kitchen favorite, thanks to its excellent melting qualities that combines a mild, nutty flavor with a hint of honey. The creamy texture blends well into the sauce and rounds out the tomatoes with depths of flavor.
Using premium made in Italy ingredients, this rich and satisfying pasta dish is sure to be a dinner favorite.
Ziti with Soppressata and Fontina
1 package of ziti pasta (1 lb.)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 oz. diced soppressata
½ lb. diced fontina
3 cloves chopped garlic
28 oz. canned, chopped tomatoes
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped basil
Grated Parmesan for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. On medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet.
2. Add crushed red pepper and garlic. Simmer until garlic turns light brown and the red pepper has released its aromatics.
3. Add chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomato sauce has thickened.
5. Cook the ziti according to the directions on the package. Once the pasta has cooking, remove from heat and drain while reserving 1/3 of the pasta water.
6. Add fontina to the tomato sauce and stir until it melts.
7. Using a slotted spoon, add the pasta to the sauce. Pour in leftover water and mix ingredients thoroughly. Stir for about 2 to 3 minutes until the water reduces into a thick sauce.
8. Plate your food and top with soppressata and herbs.
9. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve warm.
*For variations on this classic dish, try it with other types of pasta like spaghetti or angel hair. Also, consider including seasonal vegetables (spinach or asparagus work well!) to balance the savory soppressata with mellow and fresh flavors.
Serve with slices of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. It pairs well with a glass of red table wine. Bon appetito!