Saturday night was always pizza night at the Calabrisi’s in our little kitchen in Binghamton, NY. The expectation was comforting. We knew some form of pizza was coming, but were never sure exactly what my mother, Loretta, had in mind. On some of these pizza nights, we had a special kind of pizza in the form of a roll – LORETTA’S SAUSAGE ROLL! She always used my father’s homemade sausage which is still the best I have ever tasted – perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of the very necessary fat. Then, of course, there was her dough!
LORETTA’S SAUSAGE ROLL was a very simple recipe. She used her pizza dough which I still use today. She made this roll with sausage and a little bit of red pepper flakes.
Loretta’s dough: I think it is the very best for a few reasons. To begin – It is simply authentic and “old world”. It is easy and is created with the signature simplicity found in most authentically Italian recipes. It is not fancy. There are no tricks to it. It does not require special flour. What is most important is that this dough has the perfect flavor and elasticity you would and should expect from any Neapolitan pizza dough.
Versatility: This dough can be used for pizza and, as it is here, for “sausage roll”. You can also use it to make divine flatbread. It is also lovely for Mozzarella in Carozza or Pizza Fritte. In addition, this dough makes amazing “Grissini” – Northern Italian Breadsticks.
Variations: Sometimes I add some fried peppers to the sausage. If I want to get a little funky – I use those sweet-hot Peppadews. Another addition that is oozy and delicious is grated mozzarella. Have fun with it.
When something is this perfect and this simple – there is nothing left to say except…Andiamo!
LORETTA’S SAUSAGE ROLL
Makes 1 Roll – Serves: about 4
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
1 Loaf of Loretta’s Pizza Dough
1 pound Italian Sausage – taken out of casings – sweet, hot , or a combination of the two
Leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary – chopped a little
1/4 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes or more if you like it spicy
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Make your dough in advance. The recipe for Loretta’s Dough makes about 4 loaves. Use one for this. I make my dough ahead and freeze the loaves so I always have some.
Remove the sausage from the casings and brown it in a tbsp. or 2 of olive oil – breaking it up into small pieces with a fork as it cooks.
Roll out your loaf of dough on a little flour into about a 14 inch rectangle.
Rub a few drops of olive oil over the surface of the dough with your hands.
Spread the browned sausage over the dough leaving a small border all the way around.
Sprinkle the fresh Rosemary leaves and the red pepper flakes over the top.
Fold the right and left shorter edges inward.
Then begin rolling the dough like a jelly roll from the bottom edge forward.
Keep rolling until the finished roll forms.
Rub the surface of the roll with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place on a lightly oiled sheet pan or foil covered pan.
Bake the roll at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and cool at least 15 minutes.
Serve with a nice drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Variations: Sometimes I add some fried peppers to the sausage. If I want to get a little funky – I use those sweet-hot Peppadews. Another addition that is oozy and delicious is grated mozzarella.
Enjoy LORETTA’S SAUSAGE ROLL as an appetizer with wine or beer, breakfast, lunch – or a light main course. You will absolutely love this stuff and the very versatile dough as well.
PARLA COME MANGI!
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