by Amber Maccione
My dad's side of the family is Italian. They came by boat from Naples, Italy, and settled in the Connecticut area. My father's family used to make all their dishes from scratch. Who needs to go to an Italian restaurant when we have Italy here in our homes? Every Friday night, my father's aunt used to invited everyone in the family over for homemade pizza. She would make the dough, put the fresh ingredients on top, and then go down to the basement where her brick oven was hot and ready to cook up authentic pizzas that varied in toppings. There was one pizza for everyone's liking. I decided to take up the same idea, but instead with calzones and strombolis. I prefer strombolis over calzones because strombolis are more about the meats and calzones are more about the cheeses. So here is my recipe for strombolis.
- 2 Pie Crusts, Thawed Out Pie Crust
- Butter, Melted
- 6 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
- Parmesan, Fresh, Shredded
- 12 Slices Pepperoni Slices, Fresh or Packaged
- 6 Slices Salami Slices, Fresh or Packaged
- Mushrooms, Fresh or Canned
- Monterey Cheese, Shredded
- Colby Cheese, Shredded
- Black Pepper
- Any other filling you like
- Marinara Sauce
- Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
- Spread both pie crusts out on cutting board or flat surface. Spread on melted butter and sprinkle on 3 of the chopped up garlic cloves. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over that.
- In center of crusts (and leaving about an inch on the end), layer your pepperoni slices, salami slices, mushrooms, and any other fillings you would like. Also sprinkle evenly basil and black pepper.
- Sprinkle the monterey and colby cheese evenly over the fillings.
- Fold up sides and pinch sides together to make sure all ingredients are securely inside pie crusts.
- Brush melted butter on the top and all seal points of the strombolis. Then sprinkle top with parmesan cheese.
- Grease cookie sheet with butter. Place strombolis on sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- When finished cooking, let cool for 5 minutes and then serve with a marinara sauce.
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The "stuffing" or what you put in the center of the crust is where the creative variation takes place. My recipe calls for what my family and I love, but you can change it up by doing just vegetables such as black olives, green peppers, and onions or whatever type of topping is your favorite for your typical pizza.
Also, the cheeses can vary too. Rota, parmesan, and mozzarella are typical for a calzone and parmesan and mozzarella are typical for a stromboli. Again, whatever is your fancy, you can use.
For those of you really talented, you can always make your own pie crust. Betty Crocker has a really good recipe for that.
Be creative and enjoy some good homemade Italian food!
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