Good things come to those who wait… don’t they? Well, if you follow Chew Town on Instagram, then you’ve been waiting a while for these beauties (which I teased you about a few months ago). I promise you it is worth the wait though!
You see, I have this problem where I cook and shoot a lot during the week because it relaxes me, but then I get busy with client work and emails and so the backlog of posts keep building until I find the perfect time to share these recipes with you.
A little while ago I was sent a rather spectacular care package from Mutti (makers of a plethora of delicious tomato products from Parma, Italy). When it arrived, I got to thinking about how I could incorporate the products into a delicious dish. I wanted to use both the double concentrated paste and the tomato passata, so I decided it was time to bust out the yeast and flour and make my family’s pizza dough.
This time though, a simple pizza base wasn’t going to cut it, so I decided to make strombolini (or as I like to call them Italian pizza pockets). The strombolini’s big sister the rolled stromboli has already made an appearance on Chew Town, but strombolini were another story entirely!
Who can resist individual pockets of Italian pizza dough stuffed full of Italian sausage, mushroom, provolone and basil? No one. No one can resist them. Well, no one that I would be friends with!
This dough recipe makes about 10 strombolini and can easily be doubled to make more. The best part is that the dough can be made, filled and then frozen. This means that you can pull one out of the freezer and pop it straight in the oven when you need a pizza fix.
For an extra surprise these strombolini have Mutti tomato paste and basil kneaded into the dough for added pack-a-punch flavour. Bonus!
After devouring this initial batch of strombolini ourselves, I made another batch for kids of our friends. Success is definitely measured by a whole plate full of strombolini being devoured by two young hungry children. Saucy smiles all round!
My goodness, I wish I had some of these left in my freezer…
Strombolini | Italian Pizza Pockets
- 500g '00' Italian flour (or plain flour)
- 1/2 tablespoon yeast granuels
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon bread improver (don't worry if you can't find this, you can just omit it)*
- 2 tablespoons Mutti double concentrated tomato paste (or other tomato paste)
- large handful basil leaves, finely chopped
- 325ml water at room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 x 700g bottle Mutti tomato passata (or other passata)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- 5-6 torn basil leaves
- 100g Italian dried sausage, finely diced
- 1 large portobello mushroom, finely diced
- 10 large basil leaves, roughly torn
- 80g Provolone cheese, grated or sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all dried ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the tomato paste and basil leaves with half of the water to the dry ingredients and then mix, slowly adding the remaining water whilst mixing. When all mixed together the ingredients should come together in a ball at this point transfer to a floured bench top.
Add the olive oil to the ball of dough and knead it in. Knead the dough till the texture is smooth and elastic (about 8 – 10 minutes). Once the dough is smooth and elastic return it to the bowl, cover it with glad wrap and then a tea towel and keep warm (I like to wrap the whole thing in a woollen blanket) until the mixture doubles in size – this can take 1 – 2.5 hours depending on the weather).
When risen, knock the dough back roughly in the bowl and then take it out knead it quickly and make it into 10 small balls. Place all dough balls back in the bowl, cover it and leave it to rise again for about 30 mins. Then remove from bowl, transfer to a floured benchtop and separate into 10 small balls again.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat then add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add the whole bottle of tomato passata along with salt and pepper to taste and torn basil leaves and stir until well combined. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 45 mins, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and sweet (do not add sugar to the sauce, the tomatoes will sweeten as they cook and that is how you know it is ready, once the acidity of the raw tomatoes has cooked out of the sauce!). If you want a thicker sauce, just cook it for a little longer until at your desired consistency.
Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius (350° Fahrenheit).
Take one of the balls of pizza dough and flatten it into a circle with your hands, stretching it out a little. Top with a tablespoon of pizza sauce, a little Italian sausage, a little diced mushrooms, a torn basil leaf and some cheese (the key is to not overfill the dough which is why I'm not giving exact measurements of fillings, it depends on how you've stretched the dough - just use your instincts).
Bring the round edges of the dough up to cover the filling and twist the edges of the dough together over the top (as the strombolini cook, they will bust out of the top a little so you want to close it as much as you can). Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
To bake, transfer the strombolini to paper lined baking trays and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pizza dough is golden and the base of the strombolini are hard when you tap them.