Fried Pizza Dumplings stuffed with Meat Sauce
Ravazzate Fritte al Sugo di Carne
Makes 24-3 inch dumplings
Prepare the Sicilian Style Pizza Dough.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and slowly sauté the celery, carrot, onion and garlic until they are tender, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the basil, parsley, sage, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. Increase the heat to medium high and add the ground meat and prosciutto. Cook, stirring often, until the meat starts to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the wine, stirring to dislodge any flavorful brown bits that may stick to the bottom of the pan. Simmer to reduce the liquid by half, 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, stock, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes. Add the peas for the last 10 minutes of cooking. The sauce should be thick and concentrated. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Cool the sauce to room temperature, or chill overnight.
When the pizza dough has finished rising, divide the dough into 24 equal balls, roughly 1 ½ inches in diameter. Press out a ball of dough into a 3-inch round and place a heaping tablespoons of the cool meat sauce and a cube of mozzarella cheese into the center. Pull two sides up around the meat and pinch at the top. Repeat with the other two sides of dough to form a small “beggars purse” shape. Twist or pinch gently to seal. Place the filled balls smooth side up onto a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Cover the balls with a dry cloth and let rise for 15 minutes.
Deep-fry the dumpling a few at a time in at least 4 inches of 375 degrees olive oil. Cook until they are golden brown and puffy, about 1 ½ minute on each side. Drain the dumplings on paper towels and serve hot.