I love Italian subs. Meaty, cheesy, tangy, bready and delicious, they are a great example of combining a lot of things in balance and creating a symphony of flavors that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. And today, we’re taking this humble-yet-great classic, and we’re upping the fancy-ante (“fante”? meh) with multiple primo cuts, a zesty spread, fried roasted pepper slices, double melted cheese, and of course a little pomodoro sauce.

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Here are some tips for building what is truly an epic, epic sandwich.

  • Get all your meats sliced thinly. Especially when it comes to the good stuff, if you get it too thick it’s really tough to bite through, and you’ll be yanking slices of meat out of your sandwich with your teeth as you try to rip into it.
  • Get your provolone sliced thin, too, but slice your mozzarella a bit thicker. The provolone is there for its sharp flavor, and the mozzarella is there for the gooey melted cheesy texture it’s able to provide.
  • Proper toasting is important. Keep your eye on your toasting process, ’cause it can go from almost done to charcoal really quickly.
  • The tomato sauce is super-easy and can be made ahead of time if you want. We’re swapping this in for tomato slices, so keeping it nice and simple is the key to not overwhelming everything else and letting that tomato flavor shine through as a balanced component of the sandwich.
  • Why the spread? Because black olives are tough to keep on a sandwich, oil and vinegar or Italian dressing are delicious but can make your sandwich soggy pretty fast, and mayo by itself is too boring for this sandwich. So into one amazing zesty spread they all go!
  • Finally, there are ranges given for meat amounts. That’s because preferences can really range, and the upper range (like the sandwich pictured here) is definitely a sharing-sized sandwich, while the lower range is more in the realm of “Yeah, I could maybe put this down by myself…perhaps.”