The inspiration for these pizza rolls comes the classic Chicago pizza puff. For those outside of the Windy City, you may not have even heard of this local delicacy, let alone eaten one, so I decided to develop this recipe to give those poor souls who haven’t tried one, a taste of this Chicago treat. The original pizza puff is a sausage, cheese and pizza sauce filled pouch that is then deep fried until golden brown. Not a calzone nor panzarotti – it’s in a category all on it’s own. It’s not fancy. It’s isn’t fine dining. And I’m okay with that. Because food need not be cutting edge, trendy or made by a highly-skilled French chef to be delicious. There’s a time and a place for that. But, this pizza roll and pizza puffs in general are all about eating something that just tastes good. It’s not the healthiest and that’s okay too (though I did bake mine to make them healthier), because life is too short to not indulge every once in a while. So, make this recipe and tell your foodie friends and personal trainer to stay at home. More for you anyways. And if you’re in Chicago in the near future, get yourself a good ole’, down home, honest-to-goodness pizza puff.
Sausage and Cheese Pizza Rolls
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 3/4 cup marinara sauce, plus additional for dipping
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup cubed provolone cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 16 egg roll wrappers
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Place olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add beef and sausage and season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Saute for 10 – 12 minutes until meat is browned, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove from heat and let cool.
- When meat has cooled, place in a large bowl and add marinara sauce and cheeses. Toss well to combine.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay one egg roll wrapper on your work surface, with one of the points toward you.
- Place about 1/4 cup of the meat filling just below the center of the wrapper, above the bottom point.
- Pull the bottom point up over the filling, fold over the sides, and roll up to completely enclose the filling.
- Place seam side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- Brush all sides of the pizza rolls with vegetable oil. Return them seam side down to the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, turning over the rolls and rotating the baking sheet once, halfway through the cooking process.
- Remove from oven, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.