I really enjoyed Scott Conant’s Scarpetta in New York, and ended up buying the Scarpetta cookbook when it came out late in 2013. Stromboli – essentially a type of stuffed bread – feature in the excellent bread basket at the restaurant. The dough makes enough for two “logs”, so I decided to make one as per the recipe and one vegetarian version (a friend suggested I try eggplant which worked really well!). These would be great as part of a bread basket for a crowd at a dinner party. The recipe calls for smoked mozzarella – I couldn’t find this at the supermarket, but found it at Salt Meats Cheese.
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing bowl
575g of 00 flour
1 tablespoon salt
225g smoked mozzarella
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
Freshly ground black pepper
100g thinly sliced mild/sweet salami
1 medium eggplant, thinly sliced and chargrilled
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1. In a stand mixer using the dough hook, combine the yeast, olive oil, and water for 5 minutes on speed 1. Add the flour and continue mixing for an additional 5 minutes. Then turn the mixer to speed 2, and mix for another 5 minutes. Add the salt and mix for a further two minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm, draft free area for one hour; the dough should double in size.
2. When ready, grease two baking trays with oil, divide the dough in half, and using the palms of your hands make two rectangles.
3. For the vegetarian version – spread the ricotta gently over the dough, top with half the mozzarella, season with pepper, then layer the eggplant, and finally half the basil. For the salami version – top with the rest of the mozzarella, season with pepper, layer the salami, and then the basil
4. To form the log fold over the bottom edge a few cm, then fold in the sides, and then gently roll. Cover with plastic and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the plastic, top with the rosemary, tomatoes and a sprinkle of salt.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the trays around and bake for further 20 minutes; if needed turn again and bake for a final 5 minutes. Remove from oven allow to cool for 20 minutes then slice using a serrated knife. At the restaurant these are served with a decadent mascarpone butter.