Mushroom, Pancetta & Italian Sausage Stromboli

Stromboli is spiral of Italian goodness. Traditionally, it is made with pizza dough or bread dough. The dough is shaped into a rectangle for rolling with meats, vegetables and cheeses. Unlike pizza or calzone, sauce is not used when forming the Stromboli as it it brings too much moisture. Some people do choose to do this, but if so, it must be done with a light hand.

Departing from tradition, this Stromboli is made using puff pastry instead of bread or pizza dough which take time to rise. It is quick and easy to thaw, and makes an amazing flakey brown crust.

Sliced Stromboli with Marinara

Ingredients

8 oz Pancetta, chopped fine
6 oz. Sweet Italian Sausage
1 large Shallot
16 oz. White Mushrooms
4 oz. Oyster Mushrooms
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped fine
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Sheets Puff Pastry (1 box)
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Water

Instructions

  1. In a large deep dish skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, cook Italian Sausage until no longer pink and beginning to brown, crumbling the sausage as it cooks. Remove sausage from pan and place in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain. Wipe all residual fat that has rendered from the pan away with a paper towel (drain the pain if sausage is very fatty)
  2. Add Pancetta to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat renders, 10-12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking pancetta until it is crisp.
  3. While the Pancetta cooks, finely chop shallots with a knife or foood processor and place in a bowl. Do the same with the mushrooms, placing in a separate bowl once finely chopped.
  4. When the Pancetta is finished cooking, add the shallots to the pan with the pancetta and rendered fats. Cook until the shallots are tender about 5 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and begin to brown. It is important that the mushrooms are dry. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. While mushrooms cool, roll out the two puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface into 12″ X 10″ rectangles.
  7. Add Parmesan and Italian parsley to the cooled mushrooms. The residual heat from the cooking will melt the cheese and wilt the parsley. Taste before seasoning as the Italian Sausage and Pancetta and Parmesan carry salts and seasonings. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  8. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Divide mushroom mixture in half and spread half on each rolled pastry sheet, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the long sides, and a 1-inch border on the top and bottom of the pastry sheet.
  10. Make an egg wash by beating the egg with the water in a small bowl.
  11. Using a pastry brush, place a strip of egg wash along the top border of each pastry sheet.
  12. Roll first pastry, starting at the short edge closest to you towards the top border with egg wash. Roll tightly and uniformly to make a log. Seal the roll using the moisture from the egg wash. Place seam side down on the pastry sheet. Repeat with second pastry.
  13. Brush each Stromboli roll with egg wash. Fold ends under sealing the filling inside.
  14. Bake Strombolifor 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  15. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce of your choice. Try the basic marinara sauce here.

Notes:

  1. It is very important that the filling is dry to prevent a soggy crust. Allow yourself at least an hour of cooking time and do not rush the process of cooking the mushrooms until dry.
  2. Keeping fats from the sausage and pancetta to be just enough to prevent sticking of the shallots and mushrooms during cooking will help keep the dish dry.
  3. Using a large skillet helps keep mushrooms in a thinner layer, increasing cooking surface and allowing liquids to evaporate.
  4. Use your favorite combination of mushrooms…just keep the weight to 20 oz. total mushrooms before cooking.
  5. A garlicky white sauce would be a good alternate for dipping.

Meatloaf Parmesan

Russ usually eats whatever I put in front of him, preferring to be surprised, but every once in awhile he comes up with a request. When I was menu planning this weekend, he mentioned that we haven’t had meatloaf in a long time and that it sounded really good. I cringed inwardly.

As a general rule, I really dislike meatloaf. There have been a few occasions where friends have served it and I’ve really enjoyed it, but those have been few and far between.

Over the years, I have been trying to find a meatloaf recipe that I could even marginally enjoy. We’ve had dozens of meatloafs, but for 30 years it’s like a once a year thing. For some reason Russ liked them all, but I’ve never warmed up to meatloaf.

During this same discussion, Russ also asked me to make some Chicken Parmesan. Inspired, I decided to make a mash-up of the two which became Meatloaf Parmesan. The result was good enough to write down and make again. I could even be persuaded to take leftovers for lunch.

Ingredients

1 pound Ground Geef
1 pound Ground Pork
15 ounces Ricotta Cheese
2 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Italian Style Bread Crumbs (I used Progresso brand)
1/2 medium yellow onion,grated or processed fine in food processor
1 Tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
32 ounces Marinara Sauce, divided (purchased or homemade) 
1 1/2 Cups shredded Mozzarella
1/2 Cup shredded Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat ove to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients up the salt and pepper. Add in 1/3 cup Marinara Sauce. Combine well and form into a loaf in a 13 X 9 pan.
  2. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove dish from oven, remove foil, pour remaining Marinara Sauce on top. Add shrededded cheeses on top.
  4. Return to the oven and bake uncovered another 30-40 minutes until fully cooked and cheese is browned on top.
  5. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice into squares, spoon reserved sauce from pan on top and serve.