What Makes Capicola So Special | Try These Uses, Pairings, Recipes

What Makes Capicola So Special | Try These Uses, Pairings, Recipes

Charcuterie boards are becoming quite popular! So, people are now exploring all the different types of foods they can incorporate on their boards. One amazing addition is the Capicola. Cooking with Capicola can be great, but what makes Capicola so special?

Well, it stands above any cured meats like salami or prosciutto - not that those are bad. Often, you might confuse Capicola with prosciutto however they are different in flavor. Additionally, you can pair Capicola well with wine, cheese, and other charcuterie items.

However, so many cured meats you can use might make it difficult to spot which Capicola you aren't familiar with it. To create the perfect meal or charcuterie board, it is important to know what cured meats taste.

So, the good news for you is that we have just the guide for you. Read on to learn more about the uses of Capicola and what makes it so special.

What Makes Capicola So Special?


In Italy, Capicola is also known as Capocollo. It is a combination of capo and collo, respectively, meaning head and neck. Outside Italy, it is often called coppa or capicola. One strange variation is the Italian-American of New York's use of "gabagool" You might have heard this variation on The Sopranos, where
Tony Soprano uses it.

Officially, it comes from the Italian city called Calabria and Piacenza. Amazingly, the cured meat was also given the Protected Designation of Original (PDO) by the European Union.

But exactly what makes Capicola so special?

Capicola is classic dry-cured meat. It is pork meat that starts at the solid muscle between the head (capo) and includes the fourth or fifth rib of the pork shoulder (collo), or neck and shoulder region. 

Thin slices of Capicola are usually used as a part of Italian sandwiches like cold cuts, panini, and muffuletta. You can pair capicola with a variety of cheeses, like gruyere, provolone, and other cheeses.

Wine and Cheese Pairings With Capicola

Have you ever wondered why Capicola is such a popular pairing choice? Well, its savory taste is a big factor. During the curing process, the marbled fat helps to balance out the flavors. Additionally, the mild smokiness of Capicola pairs perfectly with aged sharp cheddar. This cheese has a crystalline texture and a salty taste that makes it a fascinating complement to Capicola. Trust us, this pairing is sure to brighten up your day!
If you're looking for a wine to pair with Capicola, consider trying Txakoli - a dry and mineral-rich Spanish wine. It goes well with cheddar and Capicola, and has a refreshing taste that reminds you of a sunny day at the beach with hints of pinesap and salt.

Making Capicola at Home

Great news! You can make Capicola at home. So, we have a little recipe you can follow for different uses of Capicola. This is a baked variation of classic Italian dry-cured Capicola that is very simple to create.
What makes Capicola so special? Basically, this coppa is wonderfully seasoned, succulent, and tasty. So, it will elevate Italian pizza, sandwiches, subs, and even snacking to new heights!


Curing Rub:
  • 3 lbs. of pork
  • 2 tbps. of sugar
  • 1 tsps. of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsps. of curing salt
Seasoning Rub:
  • 1 tbsp. of coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tsps. of black peppercorns
  • ¾ tsps. of anise seeds
  • 1 tbsp. of fennel seeds
  • ½ tsps. of red pepper flakes
You will also need a size 24 meat netting.


1. First, mix the sugar, sea salt, pink curing salt, and red pepper flakes for the curing rub. You should put it in the mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. The pink salt needs to be evenly distributed for the curing rub.
2. Lay the pork on a countertop or a big bowl. Then, massage the curing rub onto the surface of the meat. Make sure to cover all of the meat for great flavor.
3. Now, wrap your meat in plastic wrap. Do make sure to keep it tight.
4. Refrigerate the meat for 10 days. However, flip the meat 5 days in.
5. Then, unwrap the pork. It should be firm to touch.
6. Then, rinse it thoroughly under cold water. This should remove all the curing rub spices so that you can use the seasoning rub.
7. Now, make your seasoning rub. Use coriander, fennel, red pepper flakes, black peppercorn, and anise seeds. Grind them up in a mortar and pestle and spice grinder.
8. Subsequently, blot the Capicola lightly with paper towels.
9. Afterward, spread the seasoning rub on a countertop or plate. Now, roll the Capicola in the rub so it coats all the sides. Make sure to use every bit of the rub.
10. Now, get your 24-size netting roll. Next, cut out a netting piece that is a little bigger than the Capicola.
11. Then, the netting should be stretched. Start to feed the Capicola through the net. Tip: it's easier with two people.
12. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. Fill a baking pan with water and place it on your oven's middle rack. The oven should be humid enough to cook the Capicola in a moist environment.
14. Now, place your Capicola on the roasting pan and put it on the top rack of the oven.
15. Then, cook it for an hour. Afterward, turn the Capicola and bake it for an additional The internal temperature should be 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit. However, ensure not to overcook it, or else it will be too dry.
16. Be patient! It is almost done but not yet. First, take your coppa out and lay it out on a plate. Then, refrigerate it for about 4 hours.
17. At last, the Italian Capicola should be perfect for eating. Now, you can enjoy it on pizzas, sandwiches, or snacks.
You can store it in the fridge, wrapped up in plastic or you can also freeze it for two months.

Make Cheesy Spaghetti With Capicola

Having Cheesy Spaghetti with Capicola for dinner is a quick and tasty family meal! Plus, this recipe makes a delicious meal the entire family will enjoy by using whole tomatoes, onions, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese.



1. Heat the olive oil to a medium-to-high temperature in a big saucepan. Fry the Capicola for three to four minutes or until it is crispy.
2. Add your garlic and onion to the saucepan and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions are soft.
3. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add your whole tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook for another two to three minutes or until thoroughly heated. Combine the Spaghetti and parmesan 

Capicola With Chicken, Butter Sauce, and White Wine

Capicola with Chicken, Butter Sauce, and White Wine is a simple yet elegant main dish. What makes this dish with Capicola so special? It works well for both weekday and weekend dinner gatherings.


  • 8 thin slices of chicken cutlets
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 slices of Capicola
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsps. of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsps. of salted butter
  • A cup of Chardonnay
  • Quarter lemon's juice
  • 2 tbsps. of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 tbsps. of freshly-shredded parmesan cheese


1. Lay the chicken on a chopping board and sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper over both sides. Add a slice of Capicola on each chicken cutlet. Lightly apply pressure.
2. Fill a big shallow dish with roughly a quarter cup of flour. Coat the chicken on both sides with flour and then place it on the side.
3. Set a big saute pan to medium heat. Mix in 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Add your chicken to the pan when the butter has melted. The side with the Capicola should be on the pan. Be careful not to overfill the pan. If you need extra butter and olive oil, cook the chicken in two batches. Now, cook all the chicken until it is golden brown and just cooked through. It should be on the heat for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Then, place the chicken on a platter after removing it from the pan. To keep them warm, wrap the area with foil.
4. Within the same saucepan, increase it to medium-high heat. Throw in the Chardonnay. Scrape off any debris from the pan.  Wine may be cooked for 3 to 4 minutes after a mild boil. You should lower the wine by around 1/4. Stir occasionally 
5. Now, add the lemon juice. Then, the butter should be added after lowering the heat. Once the butter has melted and been integrated, continue stirring the sauce. Use pepper and salt as needed to season.
6. Put the chicken back in the pan and cover it with sauce. For 3 to 4 minutes, simmer with a cover on.
7. To serve, take the chicken out of the pan and cover it with the sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.


In Conclusion:

Now that you know what makes Capicola so special, give these recipes a try. Shop for capicola and ingredients for the dishes on Supermarket Italy.

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