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Maine Italian Sandwich

This is the quintessential southern Maine sandwich. It is far more popular with locals than the lobster roll Maine is known for. In the 1900s Giovanni Amato came to Maine from Italy and began selling a version of this sandwich to ship workers. Today it is sold in most Mom and Pop sandwich shops and is simply known as the Eye-talian. Otherwise, there really isn't much about it that's Italian.

It is made on a soft roll which is about 10 inches long and the bread recipe is a carefully guarded secret which is still made by a very few Italian bakeries. For those of us who grew up eating this sandwich, it becomes a life long addiction as well as a craving. When eating a Maine Italian Sandwich, you must have a bag of BBQ potato chips to complete the experience!

You can add Genoa salami to this sandwich or you can substitute it for the ham. It is also excellent made with provolone cheese. Another local variation is to omit the ham and substitute tuna salad.


 1 pound sliced deli ham, each slice cut into 3 pieces
 8 slices white American cheese, each slice cut in half
 2 sour dill pickles, sliced very thinly lengthwise
 1 tomato, sliced
 12 Greek olives, pitted and sliced
 1 small onion, diced
 1 small green pepper, sliced lengthwise
 4 soft hoagie rolls
 extra virgin olive oil, the good stuff
 salt and pepper


Cut sub rolls in half lengthwise, but not completely through. Layer cheese and ham on each of the rolls. Place a layer of diced onions in the bottom of the roll. Lay sliced pickles up against the ham. Lay tomato slices up against the cheese. Top sandwich with strips of green pepper. Sprinkle with sliced Greek olives. Drizzle each sandwich with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Serves: 4
Ham Cheese Tomatoes Olives Onions Bell_Peppers Olive_Oil No-Cook

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You may notice that some of our recipes do not contain exact measurements for all ingredients. Cooking on the road is an art more than a science. We view each recipe as only a suggestion - a starting point for your own personal creativity.

We aren't usually dealing with food chemistry in these recipes since we aren't baking with leavening, etc., so feel free to use as much or as little of any suggested ingredient. Be creative and imaginative! Substitute the foods you like or have available for the ones in the recipes. And if you find something that turns out well for you, please share it with the rest of us.