Like so many of my favorite "Italian" foods, stromboli is as American as it gets. In fact, this rolled and baked sandwich, a close cousin of pizza, may well have been invented on my home turf--at Romano's Stromboli just outside Philadelphia. This might explain why I ate so much of it growing up.
All pizza shops sold it, and some got pretty creative with versions like the "Philadelphia cheesesteak stromboli." The form is easy to riff on; even my kitchen-challenged family made them from scratch with good results. This one is full of roasted vegetables with just enough pepperoni to lend it a little meaty spice. If you're only feeding two, stash one of the unbaked strombolis in the freezer for another time.
- Yield:serves 6 to 8
- 1 recipe pizza dough, divided in half (or two homemade or store bought pizza doughs)
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch long, 1/4-inch wide strips
- 1 1/2 pound large white button mushrooms, sliced
- 5 large shallots (about 10 ounces), sliced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing top
- 5 ounces part-skim mozzarella, grated
- 5 ounces fontina, grated
- 4 ounces pepperoni, very thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the pepper, mushrooms, shallots, salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat the veggies with the oil and spices, and spread out on two baking sheets. Roast for 30 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through cooking time. Leave the oven on.
Roll out one pizza dough into a rectangle, roughly 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. Spread half the roasted vegetables over the dough in a thin single layer, leaving a 1-inch border at the edges, and top with half the cheese, then half the pepperoni. Gently roll the Stromboli into a log, starting at the shorter edge, so you have a roll that's about 4 inches thick and 12 inches long. Repeat with second dough.
Transfer strombolis to a baking sheet, slice a few vents across the top, and brush with olive oil. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes; increase the oven temperate to 400°F, and bake an addition 10 to 15 minutes, until the exterior is brown and crunchy. Let the Stromboli rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.