Pizza is my ‘go-to-favorite’ thing. We lived in northern Italy for a time and I swear I became addicted to pizza. Now anything that even closely resembles pizza is an automatic win for me.I have never met a bad pizza.Well once I did – a pizza with goat cheese and figs. Another story. There are those times when pizza is on your brain but you want to make something different, something ‘pizza-ish’. I am becoming a master at disguising pizza. Baked Pizza Pasta, Pizza Soup, Pizza Bread, Pizza Loaf, and yes, Pizza Nachos are all favorites. So here is my recipe for Pizza Bundles. (Shhh — yet another ‘pizza-ish dish.Tricky me!) This is a bit similar to a calzone, but more different than the same. You can make them with your favorite homemade yeast dough or your favorite pizza dough. Best of all you can visit the frozen section of your grocery store and pick up a a package of frozen bread dough. I won’t tell if you won’t. It works and will impress those eating at your table. I love this recipe as it enforces a bit of automatic portion control for me. Add a salad and you have a meal. These little pizza treasures freeze really well and seriously are just plain perfect.
For 6 Pizza Bundles you will need:
1 loaf of thawed, frozen bread dough, or your favorite homemade bread dough that makes one loaf.
3/4 pound of Italian Sweet Sausage (You can use Spicy if you like it, but the sweet is the very best.)
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
4 oz. can black olives, pitted and chopped
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
extra basil and/or oregano for garnish
grated cheese for garnish
Add the meat to a large bowl. Mix in the chopped onion, garlic, tomato, and peppers. Add the olives and mix well. Stir in the spices and the sauce. Set aside. Divide your dough into six portions. Keep the dough that you are not working with covered with a towel. Roll each piece of dough into a 6- 7 inch square. Divide your meat mixture into 6 portions. Form each portion into a meatball shape that you press to make a dense meatball. The meat is raw so you want it to be packed tightly in the ball shape. Place each portion in the center of your dough square. Bring up opposite corners and pinch to seal. Be sure no edges are left unsealed. Brush bundle with olive oil. Heat the remaining sauce and keep warm while the bundles are baking. Bake in a preheated 400˚ oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove from the oven when the bundles are golden brown. Immediately, while still warm, brush with a bit of olive oil and ladle sauce over warm bundles.Top with grated cheese. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of dried basil and/or oregano before serving. Enjoy!