Monday, December 2, 2013

lasagna pockets

My friends, I have failed you. I only have 1 picture of these yummy little Lasagna Pockets! I HAVE FAILED YOU!!! I'm not even really sure how it happened. I usually take oodles of pictures, and then choose from them, but I managed to delete all but the one you see above. Forgive me.
This recipe was a work in progress. At first, I was just going to make ricotta calzones, but I realized I had some ground beef in the fridge and it needed to be used. So, then I was going to make beef and cheese strombolis, and then it hit me... Lasagna Pockets! Step one, of course, was to brown the beef.
You can use whatever sauce you have around- I happened to have 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes, some tomato pasta and tomato sauce in the fridge. What a happy happenstance.
Just like any delicious lasagna, I think the secret is in the cheese. A mix of those cheeses is essential. Romano, parmesan, ricotta and mozzarella... and all the accouterments! Salt, pepper, red pepper flake, parsley and egg yolk.
Here's how I make sure each little pocket has the same amount of cheese... pretty self explanatory, but rather ingenious if I do say so myself.
I like that idea so much, I did it with the dough as well. I used fresh raw pizza dough from the grocery store again. As long as they keep putting it on BOGO, I'm gonna keep buying it. It's no secret, I'm not the best baker.
Stretch out the dough like a little tiny pizza.
I do cheese, meat sauce, cheese. So, cheese on the bottom first- that helps keep the bottom of the stromboli from getting soggy from the sauce.
Then a good dollop of the meat sauce... then top the whole thing off with more cheese. Yet again, I fail you. No picture of that step.
Fold the whole thing over and crimp the edges, like any other stromboli. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and then pop into the oven. Once the dough is browned and golden, it's time to remove from the oven and chow down!
Lasagna Pockets
1 lb store bough raw pizza dough, divided in four pieces
1 lb ground beef
16 oz. marinara sauce
1 12 oz. container whole milk ricotta
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup romano cheese, grated
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon red pepper flake
Olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saute pan, brown ground beef over medium high heat until cooked through. Drain excess grease from pan and add in marinara sauce. Heat sauce through, then remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, combine together ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, egg yolk, salt, pepper, parsley and pepper flake. Split cheese mixture into 4 equal sections. Take one section of the pizza dough and stretch it into a small circle. Spread 1/8 of the cheese mixture on one half of the circle and top with 1/4 cup of meat sauce, then again with an addition 1/8 of the cheese mixture. Fold over the remaining half of the dough and crimp edges to seal. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat with the other 3 sections of dough and place in oven. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until dough is brown and golden. Let rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!