I love it when I see a recipe on Facebook and it’s actually something I want to make! I swear, some of the things passing as food nowadays are downright sad – but the real stuff coming through is something to jump for!
Take tonight’s Sausage Roll, for example. We have an online friend named Michael who is Italian and just happens to be a really good cook. It’s great fun to see what great dishes he’s whipping up. They’re generally rustic Italian from his family and his cooking style is very much Like Victor’s – things you learned in your youth from older relatives that just stayed with you. More often than not there’s no real recipe involved – at least not exact measurements of things. It’s more intuition than anything else, usually staying within a style or parameters, but still open to tweaking as needed. You know… real cooking.
So… the other day, Micheal posted a recipe and pictures of a Sausage Roll he made with pizza/bread dough, Italian sausage and cheese. I kinda knew we were going to be making one before the week was up.
I had pulled sausage out of the freezer to make a sausage and potato dish for dinner, and off to work I went. The weather was nasty, business was slow, and I volunteered for an early out. I let Victor know that I’d be home at 1 instead of 4 – plenty of time to make a Sausage Roll!
When I got home, there was a beautiful Sausage Roll waiting for me! Victor whipped it up and it was warm-from-the-oven waiting for me! I had a slice just to check it out., and then another because the first one was so good. Then I had just a small one as I headed to the office to check out a few things. Back to the kitchen 15 minutes later for another slice, then another one 30 minutes after that. And one while I was preparing dinner…
Life just doesn’t get any better!
adapted from Michael Salvatore Gottuso
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 to 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Proof yeast in the water about 5 minutes. Slowly add the flour and salt and mix with dough hook about 5 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, and then add the oil and mix on low another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dough is not sticky.
- 8 oz Italian sausage
- 4 roasted red peppers
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheeses
- bread crumbs
Remove sausage from casings; crumble, and cook. Cool completely.
Liberally oil a half-sheet pan with olive oil. Spread dough out, completely covering pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in pan about an hour.
Sprinkle dough with bread crumbs and top with crumbled sausage. Top with cheese, and then with strips of roasted red pepper. Sprinkle on a few more bread crumbs if the peppers are wet.
Roll jellyroll style, crimping ends as you go. Seal seam and arrange seam-side down in pan.
Place in preheated 425°F oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through and browned.
It was awesome!
Michael’s recipe calls for cubes of provolone or mozzarella – or both. Victor used a shredded 4-cheese Italian blend and added the red pepper, as well.
The end result was similar to a pepperoni bread he has made at Easter – although not as gooey. Another variation on the theme is a Sicilian Focaccia we had when we were in Sicily that I’ve made several times, since.
Leave it to the Italians to figure out a dozen and one ways to stuff something good into bread dough. Then, again, they have 350+ shapes of pasta.
I like Italians.