I love pizza. Who DOESN’T love pizza ? I also love filling dough with yummy things. And so, these little hot pockets were born from that blessed union. They were also born because I think the men in my life get a little tired of just having sandwiches for lunch or dinner when they’re in the field. So, here ya go! Hot pockets are also great if you want to be the star of your tailgate or kid’s soccer game, or just your own dinner table!
1 recipe Basic Pocket Dough*
- 1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese (whole or part skim)
- 1 cup Parmesan, plus a bit more
- 1 egg
- 1 TBS chopped parsley
- I package mozzarella (the real deal, cut into slices)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce
- Pepperoni slices
- Egg wash (1 egg, beaten with a TBS water)
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brown the ground beef in a shallow skillet and drain the grease. Return to skillet and add marinara sauce. Let it gently simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove from heat and let cool and thicken. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, and parsley
While sauce is cooling, roll out your dough and cut into your desired shape on a well-floured surface. I used a 4-inch round cutter, but you could sure cut into rectangles or squares.
Take 2 circles and brush one layer with egg wash (this acts as “glue” so that the top and bottom layers will stick together as they bake).
Then lay down a fluffy bed of ricotta-Parmesan mixture on the bottom leaving a border all around, enough to have a crust.
Next, spoon some of the thickened marinara-beef mixture on top of the ricotta. This is where it’s important make sure your sauce is no longer watery! It should just rest on top of the ricotta. Then layer on about 3-4 pepperoni slices and a slice of mozzarella.
Take a second cutout and stretch it out to cover the top, pressing into the bottom layer of dough. Crimp it closed with the tines of your fork. It’s well worth the effort to make extra-special sure that everything is sealed closed! If they aren’t totally sealed, a tragedy beyond your imagination will occur! (J/k, you’ll just have cheese oozing onto your baking sheet. Not altogether a bad thing!)
Transfer pockets to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pockets with egg wash, and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella if desired. Poke little holes in the top of each one, so the steam has a chance to escape!
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve with extra marinara sauce if desired. Yields 6-8 pockets.
*If you want to skip this step just use store bought pizza dough, just make sure when you roll it out that you leave it fairly thick so it holds up against all your fillings!
*Another fun variation is to leave the marinara sauce out of the pocket and serve it on the side for dipping. Just mix the ground beef into the ricotta.