Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce & Enticing Pizza Rolls

Before I got married and learned to cook, I lived on chips & salsa; turkey sandwiches; canned soup; and occasionally pasta with Ragu. I have not gone back to look up the potentially harmful (or not) ingredients in the sauce. Maybe there are a few... maybe there aren't any, but it turns out sauce is very easy to make and if I can eliminate the processing, I will. I make a bunch and freeze it in mason jars, which tend to be close to the amount I want each time I use it for something. I use the same sauce for spaghetti, lasagna, home-made pizza, ziti and pizza rolls.

My cousin introduced me to pizza rolls. She mentioned having them for dinner one Thanksgiving (we had the traditional meal for lunch & she wanted to make something easy for a dinner-snack). Not realizing there was a type of pizza roll that was not made of mystery meat in some fried & frozen pocket thing, I was horrified. I didn't want to offend her, so I went with it. Imagine my surprise when the pizza rolls turned out to be more like home-made cinnamon rolls, except with pizza ingredients. These have turned into a staple at our house and they don't last long. I dread the day my boys are teenagers and I have to make 2 batches to keep up with their appetites.

Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves (I use a press, but you could chop)
1/2 cup pureed sweet potatoes* (or carrots which will make it not as sweet)
2 Tbsp basil
1/2 Tbsp thyme
1/2 Tbsp oregano
2- 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
14 oz can tomato sauce
3 or 4 Tbsp sugar (we like it sweet)

Saute the onion in the olive oil 2 minutes or so. Add the garlic & saute another minute. Add the sweet potato and herbs and saute another minute or two. Add the rest. Bring to a boil, cover & simmer for 30 minutes. Salt to taste & add more herbs if desired. It's good in the refrigerator for 1 week. It can be frozen up to 6 months.

*sweet potato: prick the sweet potato, wrap it in 2 layers of paper towels (2 layers is key) and microwave for approximately 4 minutes depending on the size. If its soft, it's done. If not, add 30 seconds. Let it cool, peel off the skin and puree by putting it in the food processor. You may need to add a tiny bit of water.

Pizza Rolls
While making the dough for regular rolls,* add:
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning or a combination of oregano and basil
1/2 cup parmesan

When the dough is ready for the rising stage, roll it into a large rectangle (approx. 12" X 18")
(If you forgot the seasoning & parmesan above, you can sprinkle it on at this point.)
Spread spaghetti sauce on the dough (as much or little as you like)
Add the pizza ingredients that you like (I normally do half pepperoni & half cheese)
Roll it up like a log.
Cut it into 12 slices & place the slices in a greased 9X13 pan.
Let rise for an hour.
Cook per the roll directions.

Note: sometimes I add the cheese to the top instead of inside. I also just froze a few of these for an easy school lunch in the future.
*I normally use this roll recipe substituting butter for shortening & using half regular flour & half wheat flour.