Zingara Sandwich: the Original Recipe for the Iconic Sandwich From the Island of Ischia!

Total time: 20 mins.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 1 person
By Cookist

The Zingara Sandwich is a famous sandwich, typical of the island of Ischia in the South of Italy. It consists of a crust of well-toasted bread richly stuffed with mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise. It is a simple and super quick recipe to make, invented at the end of the seventies on the island of Ischia and it is still considered a true local institution today. Easily reproduced at home, it's perfect for serving for a dinner in front of a good movie or for a takeaway lunch on the beach or in the park during a picnic.

What is a Zingara Sandwich?

The Zingara sandwich has its roots in the vibrant local tradition of simple yet flavorful street food. Originating in the 1970s, the Zingara was invented at the Bar La Virgola in the town of Casamicciola Terme. It quickly gained popularity due to its delicious combination of rustic ingredients: crispy bread, tender prosciutto, fresh tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and creamy mozzarella, all tied together with a tangy mayonnaise spread. This delightful sandwich embodies the spirit of Ischia, and it's become a modern classic, destined to last.

Tips for the Best Zingara Sandwich

  • Use "pane cafone" or a similar rustic bread with a crispy crust and a soft airy interior to absorb all the flavors without becoming too soggy.
  • Toast the bread lightly to achieve a perfect balance between crunch and softness. This also helps to prevent the sandwich from becoming too hard or chewy.
  • Add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil over the tomatoes and lettuce. This enhances the natural flavors of the vegetables.
  • Follow the layering order—mayonnaise, mozzarella, tomatoes, lettuce, salt, olive oil, and then Parma ham. This ensures a balanced distribution of flavors in every bite.

More Original Italian Recipes to Try

Lemon Salad of Procida

Authentic Pasta Puttanesca

Spaghetti and Meatballs

How to Store Zingara Sandwich

To fully enjoy its flavor and typical crunchiness, it is a good idea to prepare the Zingara Sandwich and enjoy it at the moment, hot and freshly made. Alternatively, you can wrap it in cling film and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.


Italian bread
200 grams
70 grams
to taste
to taste
50 grams
to taste
Olive oil
to taste

How to Prepare Zingara Sandwich

First, heat up the bread slices a bit. Then, add a thin layer of mayonnaise and place two slices mozzarella on top.

Add two slices of tomato, and then as much lettuce as you want.

Finally, add the Prosciutto di Parma. Close the sandwich and toast it over high heat to create that crust.

Cut it in half and enjoy while it's still warm and stringy!

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