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This Semi-Homemade Dinner Recipe From the '50s Deserves a Comeback

It makes an easy and delicious weeknight meal.

<p>Sara Haas</p>

Sara Haas

I grew up in Indianapolis during a time when chain restaurants were popping up everywhere (you know, Chili’s, Applebee’s, and the like). Those casual dining spots had decent, predictable food, which was fine, but my family was happiest at our local (non-franchise) spots. One particular spot had awesome deep dish pizza, but also a magical dish called a stromboli. Not quite a pizza, but not quite a sandwich either, it stole our hearts.

What Is a Stromboli?

A stromboli is not a sandwich, calzone, or pizza, although it has characteristics of each. It’s like a sandwich because it’s traditionally made using Italian bread dough and includes cured meats. It’s similar to a calzone in that it involves folding dough over fillings and baking. And it’s like pizza because it involves baking that dough with ingredients like mozzarella and marinara sauce.

The stromboli is believed to have been created by Nazzareno Romano, an Italian immigrant who had to pivot from stone masonry to working at his family’s bakery when the Great Depression hit. At the bakery, he made pizzas and then sold them from a wagon on the streets of Philadelphia to help make ends meet. A few years later, he moved to Essington, Pa., where he opened his own pizzeria. He sold pizzas, but also, stromboli. It was an experiment at first, with Romano filling pockets of bread dough with slices of cured meat, peppers, and mozzarella before baking. After some trial and error, the stromboli made it to the menu, and the rest, as they say, is history.

How to Make a Stromboli

Romano’s original stromboli used Italian bread dough as a base, but pizza dough is a good replacement if making bread dough from scratch isn’t your thing. Traditional stromboli were made with thin slices of ham, capicola, and other cured meats along with bell peppers and mozzarella cheese. That’s a good starting place. If you want to have some fun with the original recipe, swap some of the cured meats for ground Italian sausage, add a healthy handful of grated Parmesan, or use pickled, hot peppers in place of fresh bell peppers. Or try your own combination and see what happens. You really can’t lose. OG stromboli wasn’t served with marinara, but it’s a nice addition, especially if you’re a big fan of dipping.

Ready to make your own stromboli? Here’s what you'll need to make this easy stromboli:

Get the Recipe

<p>Sara Haas</p>

Sara Haas

Stromboli Ingredients

  • Dough: Use premade pizza dough, or bread dough. If you prefer to make your own, try one of our many recipes.

  • Fillings: The recipe here calls for ground beef, cooked ham, pepperoni, green bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms, but feel free to swap in your favorites.

  • Cheese: Get a gooey cheese pull from mozzarella.

  • Sauce: Buy a jar or make homemade pizza sauce to dollop on the inside and/or use for dipping.

Stromboli Assembly

As for building your stromboli, I have a few suggestions. First, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Once you’ve got it in a roughly 10x14-inch rectangle, move it to a parchment-lined baking sheet before topping and rolling. This way you can move the whole thing to the oven without having to make any risky transfers—a rolled, unbaked stromboli isn’t a nimble object.

Arrange your fillings on the lower half of the dough, spoon the desired amount of sauce over top, and sprinkle mozzarella before folding the top half of the dough down over the fillings. Pinch the edges together to seal and poke holes in the dough so the steam can escape. Finally, brush with melted butter for an extra crispy crust before baking your masterpiece in a 400-degree F oven for about 30 minutes.

Stromboli Variations

Use your imagination to create the stromboli of your dreams, and welcome this easy throwback recipe back into your present-day dinner lineup. Or, if you need more inspiration, check out one of our other stromboli recipes:

Read the original article on All Recipes.