Over many centuries the inventiveness of butchers and meat producers has led to a massive range of cured hams and sausages. Coppa (also known as capicola) is a cured pork meat created from the shoulder or neck of the pig. Pork, given that pigs are easy and cheap to rear, is perhaps one of the most popular meats for cured products. The cure is effected by seasoning, usually with wine, garlic and herbs (varying depending on region) and after salting the meat is encased natural casing and air dried for at least six months. Hot versions are seasoned with spicy paprika and smoked versions add to the wide variety of flavors on the market.
Ricotta and Coppa Pizza:
For an authentic Italian pizza, coppa is the perfect topping. To offset the spicy flavor of hot coppa create your topping with ricotta and spinach. Spread the ricotta onto your base and add slices of hot coppa. While this cooks mix spinach with lemon juice, a little crushed garlic and salt and pepper to season. Approximately a minute before the pizza is cooked add the spinach to the topping and cook for around 1 minute.
Coppa and Pasta
Any pasta dish is enhanced with just about any of the cured Italian hams. Try penne, broccoli, parmesan and coppa as a combination. Boil the pasta while also cooking the broccoli lightly; fry tomatoes (fresh, chopped or tinned) with a little garlic and red wine. Mild coppa can be grilled to add a little crispiness to this dish, or simply added without cooking. When the sauce has reduced, drain the pasta, add the broccoli, mix the coppa in with the other ingredients and top with freshly grated parmesan.