A traditional plate of Italian cured meats, with sliced porcini mushrooms and arugula is a great start to a meal.
Years ago when I was working at Pazzaluna, I was on the garde manger station making hot and cold apps, salads, and desserts, as well as curating a daily changing selection of antipasti I came up with.
One of my favorite snacks, and plates to make was the affetati, an Italian platter of cured meats. From my experience, it's Italy's answer to the French assiette without pickled or cooked vegetables. It's basically the original charcuterie platter.
Here I add some fresh sliced porcini mushrooms, which lighten it and compliment the flavor of the meat.
Meats to use
There's a lot of different Italian cured meats you can use. Pick and choose your favorites. Here's a few examples.
- Sliced salami and other fermented sausages
- It's not traditional, but you can use my Homemade Venison Biltong recipe to cure cuts from beef and other animals
- Fresh arugula or young mustard greens
- Shavings of parmesan cheese
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Mandoline or very sharp, thin knife
- A fresh perfect porcini, cleaned of any grit and inspected for bugs.
- A few slices of nice cured meat like prosciutto, mortadella, etc.
- The best extra virgin olive oil you can find
- Fresh arugula or another peppery green
- Crunchy salt like Maldon or Faulk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Have the butcher or helper at the meat counter shave the cured meats nice and thin. For some optional texture, mortadella can be cut into small cubes.
- Arrange a few slices of meat on each plate
- Slice the porcini into thin ¼ inch slices, then arrange attractively with the meat.
- Scatter some arugula over the top of everything, then drizzle with olive oil, season with fresh ground pepper, and crumble some salt over the top of everything.