This is a really fantastic dish – the quickest way to explain it is to talk about a rolled-up pizza, but really it’s so much better than that. The dough is a bit more like bread than a standard pizza base, so you end up with a lovely crisp crust on the top, and then squidgy layers in the middle, sandwiched with rich tomato sauce, gooey cheese and salami. Don’t be put off by the idea of having to make your own dough – although you need to leave some extra time for it to rise, it’s not really very complicated. Make it a few times and you’ll soon get the hang of it.

For the dough:
500g strong white flour
1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
Olive oil
325ml warm water
For the filling:
400g passata
1 onion
A couple of cloves of garlic
Dried oregano
A packet of Milano salami
A ball of mozzarella
Cheddar cheese (as much as you like!)
A handful of fresh basil
Salt & pepper
Fresh rocket, to serve

Serves 6.

To start making your dough, mix the yeast in with the flour in a large bowl. Add two teaspoons of salt and two tablespoons of olive oil to the warm water (make sure you measure it as exactly as possible), then add to the flour and mix gently with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together into a ball.

Clean a work surface thoroughly, dry it, and cover it with flour. Transfer the ball of dough to the floured surface and knead it for five minutes or so (add more flour if it’s too sticky) until it’s a nice smooth lump, then pop it into a bowl, cover with a clean tea-towel, and leave it to rise for about an hour, or until it’s roughly doubled in size.

When you’re ready to finish off the second part of the preparation, start making the tomato sauce. Heat a good splash of olive oil in a frying pan. Dice the onion and crush the garlic, and fry both gently until the onion turns golden-brown. Add the passata and a good sprinkling of dried oregano, and leave it to bubble for about five minutes. Taste, and season accordingly. You might want to add a pinch of sugar at this point if there’s a touch of sourness to the tomatoes. Finally, take the pan off the heat and leave the sauce to cool.

Now would be a good time to start preheating the oven – set it to 200˚C. Next, roll your dough out into a rectangle – you’re going to roll it up widthways, so make sure it’s a suitable size for the baking tray you’re intending to use. Try and make it reasonably thin – perhaps 0.5 cm – but be really careful not to make holes it otherwise your filling will leak out! Once the dough is rolled out, spread the tomato sauce evenly across it, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Rip the mozzarella into small pieces and scatter across, then add grated cheddar and fresh basil. Finally, arrange the salami in a line down the centre, so that when you roll it up (widthways) every slice will have salami in it.

Tuck the long sides in, then gently roll the whole thing up, and crimp the ends a little with your fingers – this will stop the sauce leaking out. Brush the top with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a little dried oregano.

Pop the stromboli in the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes – when it’s ready, the Stromboli should be golden-brown on top and smelling absolutely delicious. Serve it up with some zingy fresh rocket and a cold beer.