When I was a kid, Friday nights were usually lentils and pizza night. Sometimes, pizza wasn’t regular pizza but stromboli – a rolled stuffed pizza. I have served stromboli’s in the same way but also as an appetizer at parties either in the winter or summer. The stuffings may vary based on the season. This recipe is for a spinach and mozzarella stromboli but you can replace those ingredients with browned sweet Italian sausage, red peppers and mozzarella or, in the summer months, fresh tomato slices, fresh mozzarella and basil.
In my family, we always made our own pizza dough but for stromboli’s, storebought dough works fine. There are some tips however, that stromboli makers should beware of and here are my well learned tips.
– Use only pre-made pizza dough from a bakery, pizzeria or Italian delicatessan. – If dough has been refrigerated, it’s important that it’s at room temperature before stretching it out and preparing it. – Sprinkle a baking sheet with a hand full of flour and put the dough on the sheet and cover with a clean dish towel. Let it sit for about 2 hours, turning over in between. – Sprinkle some flour on the counter top and press the dough down. Using both hands, stretch the dough in a circular motion. Alternate the hand stretching with a small roller or rolling pin, sprinkling with flour. – The dough should be rolled out to an oval shape that is length and width of a baking sheet.
- Yield: 1 Stromboli, about 20 small slices
- Difficulty: Medium
- Total: 3+ hours
- Active: 1 hour
- 1 fresh pizza dough, prepared as explained above
- 2 packages frozen chopped spinach
- 1 Polly-o mozzarella, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 3 T. Olive oil to saute spinach
- Pinch of salt
- Paprika, crushed red pepper or dried red hot pepper (optional)
- Defrost spinach according to package instructions and squeeze out excess water. Saute in a frying pan with olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and paprika or hot pepper if desired. Let cool.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface as described above. Spread the spinach onto the rolled out dough, leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top of the spinach.
- Starting from one end of the oval, roll the dough approximately 3 times, ending with the narrow end facing the top. Press the ends to seal.
- Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of the cookie sheet and spread around with finger tips. Place the bread on the cookie sheet and using your fingers, spread some oil onto the top of the bread.
- Bake the stromboli bread in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden browned. When cooled, cut the ends of the bread and slice it lengthwise, then slice it crosswise into slices to serve.