When preparing Italian food, does anyone else get that commercial stuck in their head that uses the catchy remix of Mambo Italiano?
You know the one:
Okay, well that wasn’t the actual commercial, but a drunk baby singing Dean Martin is, and will always be, hilarious.
My joy of cooking and baking has diminished these past couple months, which I can only blame myself for causing. I became obsessed with fighting calories and looking for weight-fighting recipes that ultimately resulted in dishes that may have been good for us, but left more than barely a mark on our memories. And for people who love food, love eating, and love sharing food with others, I don’t know if there’s anything worse you can do to a collection of ingredients.
And that’s where the stromboli comes in. I’ve never once attempted making any other than a pizza with pizza dough. If I were in a boardroom, I would be chastised for thinking inside such a very small box. And it’s not as if a stromboli is breaking new grounds, but I feel I’ve made some great (unhealthy) strides in breaking free of tasteless Weight Watchers recipes and once again realizing cooking should be fun. I may never be a chef, being able to come up with the grandest of ideas within minutes (thank you Top Chef for making me feel even more food-dumb than I usually do), but I can embrace my pop culture cookery. Find something I like, change it by 10%, and hope I don’t get sued.
Aside from being a tad salty, and missing a nice marinara sauce for dipping, this recipe was quite tasty, and fairly simple. I used Mark Bittman’s recipe for pizza dough from his invaluable How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. I just added some black pepper, oregano and garlic to the dough since the stromboli itself isn’t seasoned. The stromboli recipe was (barely) altered from a Real Simple recipe we found offering many uses for leftover pizza dough. We replaced the salami they call for vegetarian pepperoni, and used a lower sodium provolone cheese. Most of the prep time is spent either waiting for the dough to rise, or baking the stromboli.
Also, stromboli is a ridiculously fun word to say out loud. You should try it.
Mark Bittman’s Pizza Dough
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup water
Combine the flour, yeast, salt, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the water, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and garlic. Mix until the dough forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If the dough is dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few seconds to form a smooth ball. Put the last tablespoon of olive oil in the bowl and toss the dough, coating it well. Cover the bowl and let rise for 1-2 hours.
Veggie Pepperoni Stromboli
- 1 pound Pizza Dough (see above recipe)
- 1/4 pound veggie pepperoni (we used Yves brand)
- 4 cups fresh spinach, stemmed
- 1/2 pound sliced low-sodium provolone
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Form dough into a 12-by-15-inch rectangle. Top with salami, fresh spinach, and provolone. Working from a short end, roll up the dough. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet; brush with olive oil. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 4.
I love stromboli. I should probably learn to make it myself, although my version wouldn’t be vegetarian.
Don’t forget that Stromboli is the name of the puppeteer in Pinocchio!