Sausage and Ricotta Stromboli
November 10, 2010
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According to the Wikipedia article on the subject the stromboli was invented either outside Philadelphia in 1950 or in Spokane, Washington in 1954. Since neither claim is documented, take your pick. A stromboli is essentially a rolled up pizza although in some incarnations it more resembles a rectangular calzone. However, unlike a calzone a stromboli has marinara sauce on the inside as well as being served with sauce over it. Traditionally it contains meat and mozzarella as well but I used non-fat ricotta out of deference to the cholesterol gods. This was my first attempt at a stromboli and the result reflects that. My biggest mistake was leaving the seam on the top where it opened during baking. Take heed and roll the completed stromboli so that the end of the dough is underneath.
Makes one generous stromboli
- 4 ounces hot Italian sausage, Lupo’s if you can find it
- Olive oil as needed
- 1 small onion, sliced
- ½ bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 3 or 4 mushrooms
- 7 ounces pizza dough, more or less
- Marinara sauce, about 1 cup total
- ½ cup ricotta or shredded mozzarella
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- Crushed red pepper, optional
- Salt and pepper
- Corn meal
- Grated parmesan to serve
Place a pizza stone, if you have one, on the lowest rack in the oven. Preheat to 400°.
If the sausage is in a casing remove it and crumble the meat into a frying pan over medium-high heat adding a bit of olive oil if it is very lean. When the sausage is done remove it to bowl, adjust the amount of fat in the pan by pouring some off or adding more olive oil, and sauté the onion and pepper until soft and lightly browned. Remove to a different bowl, again adjust the amount of fat in the pan, and cook the mushrooms until browned and fragrant. Set aside.
Working on a floured surface flatten the dough with the heel of your hand then roll it out into a rectangle about 9 inches by 12 inches. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the dough leaving about ½ inch uncoated around the edges. Spread the cheese evenly over the sauce following with the rest of the fillings. Season to taste with oregano, garlic powder, red pepper, and salt and pepper.
Starting from one of the short sides, roll the stromboli then pinch the open ends closed. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet or, if using a pizza stone, onto a peel sprinkled with corn meal. Place in the hot oven and bake, rotating once halfway through for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Serve topped with marinara sauce and grated parmesan.