What’s for dinner? Italian sandwiches with red pepper pesto

If you find yourself searching “what to cook for dinner,” the answer just got easier.

“Good Morning America” ​​Food is taking the legwork out of dinnertime and helping you find delicious dishes that you can easily whip up any night of the week.

Cookbook author, TV host and do-it-yourself lifestyle expert Maria Provenzano finds ways to elevate small moments into celebrations with delicious food from scratch.

Whether you don’t feel like cooking on the stove or oven or have been craving the grinder sandwich that was gaining viral traction on TikTok, a hearty sandwich and bright salad can be a delicious dinner any summer night of the week.

Italian Sandwich

2 (10- to 12-inch) filone rolls (other options include ciabatta rolls, baguette, or classic hoagie sandwich bread)

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

2 to 4 tablespoons Roasted Red Pepper Pesto (recipe below)

6 slices sharp Provolone cheese

3 ounces prosciutto, sliced ​​thin

4 ounces mortadella, sliced ​​thin

3 ounces hot sopressata salami, sliced ​​thin

2 large tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup thinly sliced ​​red onion

2 to 4 tablespoons pepperoncinis

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 to 2 cups arugula


Cut the rolls in half lengthwise. Drizzle the inside of each piece with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then sprinkle with Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper, if using.

Add the Roasted Red Pepper Pesto to one side of the cut bread that will be the bottom slice.

Layer the Provolone on top of the pesto. Layer the prosciutto, mortadella and salami on top of the cheese. Fold the meat over to add height to the sandwich instead of laying the meat flat.

Place the tomatoes, red onions, and pepperoncini over the meat. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

Top the sandwiches with the arugula. I like to add another drizzle of olive oil over the arugula at this point, but that’s optional.

Place the tops of the sandwiches onto the arugula and place some toothpicks through the sandwich to hold it together.

Cut into roughly 3-inch pieces and place on a platter to serve a crowd.


If traveling, pack this sandwich up by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil. It can be placed in a cooler until ready to serve.

Change up the meats as needed. Remove the hot sopressata and crushed red pepper flakes if it’s too much spice and replace it with Genoa salami.

This sandwich can be served hot as well. Wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and warm in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup toasted pine nuts

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup jarred roasted red peppers

1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino

2 teaspoons fresh oregano

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Place the pine nuts in a shallow skillet over medium heat; tossing / stirring frequently. Toast until the nuts are fragrant and slightly brown. Careful, this won’t take long! Remove the nuts from the skillet and allow them to cool.

Once cool, place the pine nuts, ricotta, roasted red peppers, pecorino, oregano, basil, and lemon juice into a food processor or blender.

Process everything together and gradually begin adding the olive oil through the opening in the lid. Add more olive oil as needed until you reach the desired consistency.

Taste for flavor and add more herbs and salt and pepper if needed.

“Recipes excerpted with permission from Everyday Celebrations From Scratch, Copyright © 2022 by Maria Provenzano. Used by permission of Harper Horizon.”

Photos by Leslie Grow & Bree McCool.


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