The first time I read though this recipe from Pillsbury I thought it was good, but needed some tweaking. After all, they called their recipe Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole. Catchy title, but one small problem. Well, actually two if you want to get picky about it.
Zesty and Italian were nowhere to be found. I suppose you could call a tomato based pasta sauce zesty. But where was the Italian? No garlic, no seasoning, Jack Cheese was an option instead of Mozzarella. So I guess if you have pasta sauce and Parmesan Cheese, you’ve got an Italian dish? Maybe so, but there was serious flavor missing.
Tweak away – replace the cup of pasta sauce for Italian Stewed Tomatoes, add some minced garlic, a heavy hand with the Italian seasoning and go full-throttle with the gooey Mozzarella Cheese. Come to think of it, as long as we’re brushing the dough with Cheesy-Butter, why not sprinkle in a little more Italian zing? Oh yeah, now we’re talking Tuscan Thursday!
Zesty Italian Crescent Pie
1/2 cup Red Onion
1 lb Ground Beef
1-1/2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
4 tablespoons Italian Seasoning or to taste
1 (14 oz) can Italian Stewed Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste (from a tube)
1-1/2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated Crescent Rolls
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
3 tablespoons Butter, soft
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Dice the onion, set aside.
In large skillet over medium heat, crumble the ground beef. Add diced onions, minced garlic and 3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning or to taste. Cook together for about 10 minutes, breaking meat into small pieces as it cooks. Drain well, return to skillet. Stir in tomatoes with their liquids and the tomato paste. Break tomatoes into smaller pieces, heat through. Keep warm.
In medium bowl, combine Mozzarella cheese, sour cream and about a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning; mix well.
Pour hot beef mixture into ungreased 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Spoon cheese mixture over beef mixture.
Unroll dough, separate into 8 triangles. Arrange triangles, points toward center, over cheese mixture, crimping outside edges if necessary for a clean edge.
In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and butter. Brush over dough.
Bake the pie in the heated oven for 18 minutes or until deep golden brown. Let rest for about 5 minutes, slice the “pie” and serve. Perfect with a small salad.