Rustic Pizza Rolls
A quick food processor pizza dough turns into delicious rustic pizza rolls, filled with with fresh basil and tomatoes. The grown up version of classic pizza bites.
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Sometimes, I think I have this mom gig figured out.
And sometimes, it is 4:42 am (right now!), I am holding a still-awake 16 month old over my shoulder, I have yet to go to sleep for the night, and I have to go to work in 4 hours.
Wheee! Life with a little one is an adventure, that’s for sure.
Take a recent day trip to the beach.
A few weeks ago, a friend invited us to his family shore house for the day. A trip to the shore – I have done this dozens, if not hundreds, of times in my life. Routine, easy-peasy.
But then you add a little one, and a routine trip to the shore? Also becomes an adventure. I thought we were well prepared.
Beach umbrella, large beach blanket, towels, sunscreen, hats, a few beach toys. Ring sling for a beach nap. Loads of swim diapers. Some baby-friendly muffins (recipe coming soon!) and blueberries for the little guy. A Nalgene full of water. Off we went.
And then our friends showed us how you really do a beach trip with a child in tow.
They came with coolers full of ice-cold beverages. Yogurt tubes, frozen, as a tasty cold treat for the littles. Watermelon cubes, straight out of the cooler – in contrast to my blueberries, warm and squishy from the heat. And a bag of Erica’s homemade pizza rolls for the adult crowd.
We had a great time at the beach. Ryan loved playing in the water. The company was great. But the pizza rolls? I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since the trip.
When I think pizza rolls, I usually think of some pizza dough, overstuffed with cheese and toppings, rolled into a tight spiral. Not fancy – the kind of thing you’d serve at a foodball party.
These pizza rolls, however? Light on the toppings. Stuffed in the middle, rather than rolled. Real, fresh ingredients literally bursting out of the top – fresh basil, whole pieces of tomato. They were so good.
So when Mezzetta asked me to create a recipe starring their marinara sauce, making my own version of the rustic pizza rolls was the first thing that came to mind.
First – the sauce. Mezzetta’s marinara sauce is made from the world’s best tomatoes, grown in Italy’s San Marzano region. As the mom to a little one, I especially love that Mezetta’s marinara sauce is all natural and contains no added sugar – my biggest gripe with many store-bought sauces. Tomatoes are sweet enough as is; we don’t need to add more sugar to them!
I went with a super fast, super easy homemade pizza dough, made right in the food processor. Kneading dough can be intimidating, so this is the perfect beginner recipe.
But even if your’e a dough veteran (personally, I love kneading dough), sometimes you need a quick option. I made these a weekend my husband was on call. I definitely don’t have time to knead dough for 10 minutes when a tiny person is standing at my knees, begging for me to pick him up.
So instead, I tossed everything in the food processor, let him sit on the counter, and watch the food processor work its magic. Once the dough is done, give it a quick knead by hand (quick like, 30 seconds quick) to bring it together and set it aside for 1-2 hours to rise.
That’s it. See? Easy.
After the dough doubles in size, stretch it out, layer on your toppings. I went simple, to match the ‘rustic’ theme – fresh basil from my garden, sliced pepperoni, halved cherry tomatoes, and a little shredded parmesan.
And of course, the Mezzetta sauce! I chose the “Whole Garlic and Sweet Basil” flavor, which paired wonderfully. Those whole cloves of garlic? So, so good.
One you spread your toppings, fold the dough over itself into thirds (like you’re folding a piece of paper to put into an envelope), and slice the rounds. Add a few cherry tomatoes into the center of each pizza roll.
Then pop everything into the oven. Easy. Delicious. Perfectly portable for all your adventures in life.
Rustic Pizza Rolls
A quick food processor pizza dough turns into delicious rustic pizza rolls, filled with with fresh basil and tomatoes.
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 packet quick-rise yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- handful of fresh basil
- 1 jar Mezzetta Whole Garlic and Sweet Basil marinara
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- desired toppings (suggestions: sliced pepperoni, mushrooms, more garlic)
- To prepare the dough, combine the warm water and yeast in a small bowl and set aside until the yeast blooms, about 10 minutes. Add in the olive oil and mix well.
- In the bowl of a food processor or a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the bread flour and salt, pulsing to combine. Slowly pour in the yeast mixture, continuing to pulse to combine. Process until the dough forms a ball, about 30 seconds.
- Once dough has doubled (1-2 hours), preheat oven to 425°F. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Scatter the basil leaves and desired toppings on the dough. Spread 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the marinara along the lengthwise center of the dough. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the tomato sauce. Fold the lower third of the dough over the marinara sauce, followed by the upper third (as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope). Slice the dough crosswise into 10 pieces.
- Transfer the rolls onto a baking sheet, spaced about an inch and a half apart. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes into the open center of each roll.
- Bake rolls for 30 minutes, until crust is golden. Brush with additional olive oil after removing from the oven.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with remaining marinara for dipping.
Recipe inspired by my friend Erica, personal chef at Taste Bucks County