Okay, Sean has been asking me to make these for almost a year now and I was finally able to get around to making them not that long ago. I had gotten the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen a long time ago and have wanted to give it a try but it does take a little bit of work. Lots of people love to snack on pizza rolls at a party or while watching a football game. They make a great easy snack that you can pop in the oven quickly, but why not try to make some at home without all the added preservatives and ingredients that are in the ones you buy at the store? This recipe covers all of that. I did change one thing along the way. I opted not to fry these and simply baked them in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes and I think they turned out just fine. I have included the frying instructions with the recipe, so the choice is yours as to how you want to make them.
Homemade Crispy Pizza Rolls
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained well, chopped fine, juice reserved
2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Salt and pepper
2 (12-ounce) packages wonton wraps
3 quarts vegetable oil for frying
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a fine sieve to dust evenly with about half of the cornstarch. Set a wire rack inside a second baking sheet. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is a deep rust color, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, fennel and red pepper flakes and cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes and the reserved juice, bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 9 to 11 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate until it is cold, about 30 minutes. The mixture can be made, refrigerated until cold and covered for up to 2 days at this point.
Stir the cheese and basil into the tomato mixture to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Working with 4 to 6 wonton wrappers at a time, place 1 level teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and press down to flatten. Lightly brush all sides of one wonton wrapper with water to moisten the edges. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, then fold the wrapper again and roll it so the seam is down. Press the wonton around the filling to squeeze out the air, then press the edges firmly to seal the wonton.
Transfer the wonton seam side down to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with more wonton wrappers and filling until all of the filling is used. Continue to fill the baking sheet and place another piece of parchment paper dusted with cornstarch over those already done to create a second layer. Freeze the pizza rolls until they are firm, about 30 to 60 minutes. The pizza rolls can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month at this point.
Add the vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven until it measures 2 inches and heat the oil over medium-high heat until it registers 375 degrees on a candy thermometer. Transfer 14 to 16 pizza rolls to the oil and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until they are golden brown, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pizza rolls to a wire rack. Return the oil to 375 degrees and repeat with the remaining pizza rolls. Alternatively, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pizza rolls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake until they are golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let the pizza rolls cool for 5 minutes and serve with warm marinara sauce, if desired.
If you have had pizza rolls before, you know they are lava hot right out of the oven so make sure you resist the temptation and let them cool for a few minutes before eating. These did have a little bit of a bite to them because of the red pepper flakes, so you may want to cut back or eliminate them if you don’t want the heat. You could also mix things up and add things like some sautéed diced onions, peppers, bits of cooked Italian sausage, pepperoni or just about anything else. They were pretty tasty and I think they came out fine with baking instead of frying. You can avoid using all that oil and get good results this way.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day, stay warm and enjoy your meal!