Searching for a delicious alternative for your next summer get together? Instead of ordering pizza or hoagies, surprise your guests by serving Stromboli – layers of cheese, sliced meats and bread warm from the oven.
Stromboli may seem like a pizza served inside out, or a log-shaped Calzone, but it’s really a baked sandwich according to Romano’s Italian Restaurant in Essington, PA.
Although the name Stromboli sounds Italian, Romano’s claims to have founded the sandwich just South of Philadelphia in 1950 naming the baked sandwich after the movie “Stromboli” starring Ingrid Bergman. “While other restaurants wrap ingredients with left-over pizza dough, Romano’s original Stromboli is a sandwich made with real Italian bread dough and the ingredients baked inside,” according to Pete Romano, the founder’s grandson, “There are four to five major steps to making these sandwiches: the ingredients, the fabrication, par-baking, freezing, proofing, and refrigerating.” Pete admitted that making real Stromboli is a long and laborious process, taking days to make the dough, allowing it to rise, then forming the sandwiches 250 at a time.
Romano’s sells original Stromboli with various cheeses, like mozzarella, provolone, and Romano, plus Italian meats such as salami and capicola and your choice of sweet peppers, hot peppers or pepperoni. They also have vegetarian Stromboli with broccoli or spinach and cheese, and a chicken breast with broccoli and cheese. If you can’t make it to Essington, Romano’s sells frozen sandwiches with baking instructions that they will ship anywhere.
Regardless of what you call it, where you find it, or whether you make it yourself, Italian or not, if you like pizza and Italian bread, you’re sure to enjoy a crispy slice of heaven with oozing cheese and spicy meat, warm and fresh from the oven.
Although Romano’s wouldn’t part with their Stromboli recipe, local Philadelphian, Rene Ermilio, shared his Grandmother’s delicious yet simple to make recipe:
1 – Pillsbury® Refrigerated Classic Pizza Crust 13.8 oz
1 large egg
1/2 cup Kraft grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded sharp provolone
1 cup asiago
1 cup mozzarella
4 oz of sliced deli meat such as capicola, sopressata, and pepperoni
1) Preheating the oven to 375 degrees.
2) With a rolling pin, roll the pizza dough to a thin 20” x 14” rectangle, with the short side facing you.
3) In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg with the grated Parmesan cheese with a fork, making a bright yellow mixture.
4) With a rubber spatula, spread the Parmesan mixture over the pizza dough evenly, leaving a 2 inch border on the top and along the two longer sides, as well as a 5 inch border at the bottom.
5) Sprinkle the shredded cheeses over the yellow Parmesan mixture.
6) Overlapping slightly, layer the sliced meat across the top half of the cheeses.
7) Visually divide the dough into 4 parts across, two with meat, one with just cheese and one with just dough. Fold the top fourth with meat, onto the second fourth. Fold it one more time covering the cheese-only fourth. Fold it over one more time over the bottom dough-only fourth.
8) Pinch the edges to seal. Cut three to four 1 inch holes on the top of the roll to allow steam to escape.
9) Place the roll on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven.
10) Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite marinara or pizza sauce for dipping.
11) Enjoy with friends and family.