This weekend a few of some of my fabulous new friends decided to get together for a potluck lunch. Brooke graciously hosted and made tasty pumpkin trifle and hot toddies, Jenn made delicious chicken marsala, Lauren made a genius pasta idea from Giada that involved marsala as well, and Sarah made a wonderful broccoli side dish. Of course I expected the food to be delicious, but the company was great as well - I can't wait to do it again soon!
You may be asking, what did you make, Colleen? I volunteered to make my favorite course - the appetizer. I wanted it to be something pretty substantial and I was willing to spend a fair amount of time on it since it was the only thing I was making. I have made these before with great success, so they were a perfect choice!Like I said, these take a little bit of time (ignore the 15 minutes prep time Giada writes on the original recipe, please!) but are worth it! I use regular sausage and frozen spinach instead of arugula, but that's pretty much it on my modifications. I like the greater volume of spinach it gives you - more filling!
from Giada De Laurentiis
Makes 24 pockets
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces Italian turkey sausage (I use sweet Italian sausage)
1 cup tightly-packed arugula (or 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, drained and thawed)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (13.5-ounce) package of store-bought pizza crust (recommended: Pillsbury)
All-purpose flour, for rolling out pizza dough
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (or pizza sauce)
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized, heavy skillet. Add the sausage and cook until crumbled and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula and cook until wilted. Turn off the heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Add the cream cheese, 1/3 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin 20 by 12-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise. The cut each half into 8 equal rectangles.
Spoon topping onto 1 side of each of the rectangles. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the rectangle with egg wash. Close the rectangle of pizza dough over the topping. Use a fork to seal and crimp the edges. Place the pizza pockets onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each pizza pocket with egg wash. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce over low heat in a medium saucepan. Serve the hot pizza pockets with the marinara sauce alongside for dipping.