or, This is how we do it in Indiana!
DH was reminiscing this weekend about a job he had during college in Southern Indiana at a Pizza restaurant. At that restaurant, the favorite meal of all of the employees was not pizza, rather, it was the Stromboli Sandwich. The sandwich he described was exactly the same as the Stromboli made by Hoffman House, the pizza place in the town where I grew up in Northern Indiana. Not surprising since they were both called Stromboli Sandwich, right?
Well, here is where it gets interesting. I’ve lived on the East Coast and the West Coast since growing up in Indiana, and have travelled to most major cities in the U.S. And you know what? I have yet to find another Stromboli that a.) is a sandwich, not a calzone-like thing, and b.) has ground sausage. Even a search on Pinterest or Google produces Strombolis that are ham, cappacola, or salami, along with the standard Mozzarella and pizza sauce. Further, they are all wrapped in bread dough or pizza dough.
That is a good Stromboli, don’t get me wrong. It just isn’t THE Stromboli, in my mind.
You know where this is going, don’t you? I HAD to make the Indiana Stromboli, a thick sandwich on crispy Italian bread, loaded with ground sausage, melty Mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. And something spicy. My mouth is watering. This is a must-make.
1 loaf of Italian or French bread or baguette
1 T olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz shredded Mozzarella
1 1/2 lb ground sausage (I used half Sweet and half Hot)
1 c pizza sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce
A few pepperoncini peppers (optional)
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F.
First, sauté onions in olive oil until almost translucent. Add garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from pan. Set aside.
Place sausage in hot pan. While it cooks, chop finely. Brown thoroughly. Add onion and garlic mixture to sausage.
Slice bread loaf horizontally. If desired, toast the inside surfaces of the bread in the broiler.
Spread bread with pizza sauce. Pile sausage mixture on top of sauce. Top sausage with pepperoncini slices.
Top with shredded Mozzarella. At this point, I partially hollowed out the top bread half because my sandwich fillings were so thick. Use your best judgment. Your bread may be bigger than mine, making closing your sandwich easier. Place top half of bread over the cheese.
Wrap sandwich tightly in foil. Bake 25-30 minutes. Slice into individual portions.
I like to put fresh basil leaves on my sandwich. Enjoy!