Breadsticks Appetizer with Capicola –

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Grissini Con Capicola – 


Buon giorno!

Let’s face it – naked breadsticks will never win a beauty contest. No matter how good they are – even homemade – they are just sort of a snore and are easily overlooked. The trick to serving breadsticks as a successful appetizer is to make them irresistible. Well here’s your new favorite appetizer – BREADSTICKS WITH CAPICOLA!

I guarantee that these are winners – not only appealing to the eye – but also knock down drag out  – well.. ambrosial!  Serve these as an appetizer or first course and you need nothing else. These will do it all.

They are incredibly easy to make using my pizza dough recipe at this post: Pizza – That’s Amore.This dough is very simple. You can make it ahead and freeze it. The recipe recommends dividing the finished dough into 2 larger loaves or 4 small ones. One of the smaller loaves will make 6 breadsticks. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Each one of these breadstick appetizers is very filling. You can make extra for bigger eaters, but one should satisfy most people.

What is Capicola? If you were a “Sopranos” fan – you heard it pronounced “gabah-gool”. It is often referred to as “Coppa”. This is a dry cured type of Italian salume made from pork. Unlike ham, capicola comes from the upper body of the pig – neck or shoulder area. It is rich, spicy, salted, and made with red pepper. It is a VERY flavorful cold cut and is the perfect choice to dress up these “naked” sticks! (You’ll see it spelled a number of different ways.)

As to serving these appetizers, I suggest offering small plates and a fork just in case it is needed.

You will WOW your guests with these, and they will beg for more. They are perfect with wine – vino rosso ,in particular. However, they will compliment almost any cocktail.


Makes: 6 breadsticks

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: about 25 minutes


1 Ball Pizza Dough from recipe: Pizza – That’s Amore.

2-3 Thin Slices Capicola  per breadstick (spicy Italian dry cured pork cold cut)

Long strips of roasted red pepper – one per stick

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – make it a good one!

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for sprinkling

Plenty of Fresh Chopped Basil for garnish

Large shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

A couple of pinches of Sea Salt


Using one of the 4 balls of pizza dough made from my recipe mentioned above, defrost if frozen. Sprinkle some flour on a board and divide the dough into 6 small balls about 2-2 1/2 inches wide.

Breadsticks 1

Breadsticks 2

Roll each ball into a rod or rope about 12” long. To roll, use the palms of your hands and press with the thumbs – stretching the dough outward from the middle. Keep at it until you get the desired length.

Breadsticks 3

Place the dough ropes on a greased or oiled baking sheet.

Breadsticks 4

Bake at 400 degrees on the upper shelf of your oven for about 25 minutes. The time will be more or less depending on your oven. Remove when golden. They will be browner on the bottom.

Cool completely.

Breadsticks 5

Wrap 2-3 slices of capicola around each stick as tightly as you can.

Breadsticks 6

Then slip a pepper strip underneath and around the middle of the meat and overlap.

Drizzle all of the sticks with a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sprinkle with grated cheese, Sea Salt, and chopped Basil. Then add some large shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Breadsticks 8

Serve at room temperature with small plates and forks if desired.

You will love these BREADSTICKS WITH CAPICOLABreak out a lovely dry red for these. The always perfect choice would be a dry (NOT sweet) Lambrusco that folks in Emila-Romagna, where many of the dry cured meats are made, might select. For cured meats though , I always immediately think  Barbera – a beautiful red from the north. You also can’t go wrong with a nice rosé – like Negroamaro.


Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.



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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks



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