I’m at that time of the year when I’m working frantically to use up everything that I canned from last year to make way for the upcoming produce season. Last year, I canned nearly one hundred pounds of tomatoes. By no stretch of the imagination was this particularly intentional: we planted eighteen tomato plants last year with the intention of trying to grow around sixty pounds of tomatoes. However, we got the plants in late in June and by August, I had no faith that they would ever bother to ripen, so went and picked around fifty pounds of tomatoes to can at one of our u-pick farms.
Given that here in the PNW, we have a growing season for tomatoes into late September, it should have been obvious to me that the tomatoes I’d grown would all ripen up right around the first part of October, leaving me with slightly more than fifty pounds of home grown tomatoes with which to content. I was glad for the surplus, though. With the u-pick tomatoes, I’d made Bloody Mary mix and ample jars of marinara. With the home grown tomatoes, I made basic diced tomatoes, so I have my bases covered for all recipes that involve marinara, as well as using diced tomatoes to make soups, stews and, chicken tikka masala.
This recipe is part of the effort to use up the canned goods before August rolls around again. It’s a bit of a two in one, though really, the meatball sandwich component takes minimal work compared to the rolls.
Sub Sandwich Rolls
Makes 6 rolls
1 cup warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (one package of active yeast)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups bread flour
In a medium sized bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for about 10 minutes while the yeast becomes bubbly and creamy.
In a small bowl, combine one cup of the flour, the butter, and the salt. Crumble with your fingers until the butter is mixed in and creates small crumbs. Add this mixture, one egg, and the remaining flour to the water and yeast. Stir to combine.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead the dough for six to eight minutes. Return the dough to the medium sized bowl and cover with plastic wrap or several tea towels. Place in a warm spot in the kitchen and let rise for an hour.
After an hour, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and shape into sub sandwich shaped rolls. Place these on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover with several tea towels. Let rise for another hour.
Beat the remaining egg with about a tablespoon of water. After the second rise is complete, brush the rolls with the egg and water mixture. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when tapped.
Open Face Meatball Sandwiches
Four freezer meatballs
1 16 ounce jar of marinara sauce
4 slices Swiss cheese
¼ cup shredded parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 sub sandwich rolls
Combine the marinara sauce and meatballs in a small saucepan and simmer until both sauce and meatballs are heated through. Slice the sub sandwich rolls in half and place one slice of cheese on each half (cut the cheese slices in half to get full coverage on each roll). Cut each meatball in half and place two halves on each piece of sub roll. Spoon marinara over the top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.