The Mazzeo

The Mazzeo is a tribute to Italian deli tradition, blending select cold cuts with a hint of bitter olive oil in a slightly toasted crusty roll.
The Mazzeo sandwich from Roma Market in Pasadena, California, made by Rosario Mazzeo and photographed by Krystal Thompson

Invented by an Italian deli owner in Los Angeles named Rosario Mazzeo, this sandwich is a classic example of simple gestalt; the whole sandwich greatly exceeding the sum of its parts. This sandwich is like enjoying a memory from your past, a quiet meal with an old friend you haven’t seen in far too long. It relies on high-quality ingredients such as a slightly bitter and flavorful Italian olive oil, a fluffy bread with a buttery and flakey crust, and generously sliced cold cuts and cheeses.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 3 thick slices of capicola
  • 3 thick slices of mortadella
  • 3 slices of extra-wide Genoa salami
  • 2 large slices of provolone
  • 1 tablespoon of a slightly bitter Italian olive oil
  • 1 crusty white roll


  1. This sandwich can be eaten cold, but the ambiance of eating is better if it is very slightly warmed and toasted.
  2. In a pan over high heat, very quickly raise the temperature of your deli meats and remove from heat.
  3. Lower the heat and, while the heat is adapting to a more reasonable temperature, place your bread sliced lengthwise in the pan – just to warm it, with no intention of a full toasting.
  4. Flip your bread and drizzle the olive oil on both halves of the interior and place the meat in the following order: mortadella (bottom), capicola (middle), salami (top).
  5. Still in the pan, add your cheese and place the top piece of bread to assemble the sandwich.
  6. Turn off the heat and place a cover on your pan, and let the sandwich come to a fairly uniform temperature over the next three to four minutes.
  7. This sandwich is meant to be enjoyed immediately and with no substitutions or additions of any kind.

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