Italian Sub Sandwich Stromboli

Recipe by Nancy Johnson; Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

If I had to choose my favorite, this stromboli wins hands down. But feel free to vary the ingredients – ham, pickles and swiss cheese, beef, hot peppers and cheddar, prosciutto, eggplant caponata and mozzarella or whatever combination makes your family happy. If you prefer to roast your own red peppers, place them whole on a cookie sheet under the broiler, turning with tongs as each side blackens. Let cool, remove stem, seed and slice. The charred skin can be removed or left intact for extra crispy flavor.

2 pounds pizza dough

12 slices Genoa salami

12 slices capocollo

12 slices provolone

1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, patted dry and chopped

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

2 TBS water

Homemade Pizza Sauce, for dipping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board or counter. Divide into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 12-by-10-inch rectangle.

Layer half the salami, capocollo and provolone over one rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on all edges. Top with half the peppers and Parmesan cheese. Brush edges with a bit of the egg wash. Starting at a long end, roll the dough tightly into a French bread shape or log. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Transfer, seam side down, to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with second dough half. Coat two sheets of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cover each loaf loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until crust is golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack to cool about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with a side of Homemade Pizza Sauce for dipping.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

I swear by certified San Marzano tomatoes for best flavor. A plum tomato grown in the rich soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius, they have deep red color, firm pulp, low acidity and sweet flavor.  For briny umami, add a few canned anchovies to the pizza sauce mix.

1 large can San Marzano tomatoes, with juice

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 TBS fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried

1 TBS torn fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp dried

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sugar

1 clove garlic, or more to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, puree tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, olive oil, sugar and garlic. Transfer to medium saucepan and heat to boiling. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pizza Dough

4-3/4 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup flour if needed

2 envelopes instant or rapid rise yeast

1 TBS sugar

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1-3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)

In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a dough blade, pulse the flour, yeast, sugar and salt to combine. With the processor running, slowly pour in oil, then slowly add water. Process until a ball forms, about 40 seconds. Let rest 2 minutes, then process 30 seconds longer. If dough is sticky, add 1/4 cup flour a few tablespoons at a time until dough is smooth and does not stick to dough blade.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured cutting board or counter. With floured hands, form a smooth ball. Place in a large, oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap that has been coated with cooking spray. Let rise in a warm place about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in size. Turn out onto lightly floured cutting board or counter. Roll dough into two 12-by-10-inch rectangles.

Gary: Stromboli is a bit less rich in style than the Calzone due to the omission of ricotta, with more flavors based on the meats that would be complemented by wines with slightly more acidity. Acid will also help make the bridge between wine and marinated ingredients, such as peppers and pickles. Red wines such as Gamay/Beaujolais, Tempranillo, Sangiovese/Chianti, Valpolicella and Barbera would be easy, gulpable pairings with this flavorful dish.

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