Ring of Yum

The other day, I nearly quit. I was rushing from one thing to the next and someone asked, "What's for dinner?" And, for just a moment, I was tempted to say, "Whatever you came up with, because I quit!" Instead, I took a deep breath, pointed to the crockpot, and gave a brief explanation of the evening's meal. But then I followed it up with, "But tomorrow, we're all making dinner together so it's not just something I know about. And you know what? We did just that:

This festive pastry ring is filled sausage, vegetables, and pesto. Oh — and cheese. Can't get the youngster involved without a meal having cheese in it! But since this dish involves several steps, it's easy to get everyone involved. Someone can brown the sausage and sauté the vegetables. Someone else can arrange the dough into the sun burst patten. Then spooning the filling and sprinkling cheese can be another task:

Once you have it looking like the photo above, it's a simple matter of flipping the pointed ends over the filling, pinching them into place, and baking it all. You even have time to toss together a salad while it's baking. And when it's all done, you have a dinner that didn't just fall to you!

Sausage and Pesto Ring

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2/3 c. chopped onion
  • 2/3 c. seeded and chopped sweet pepper
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • 2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat, until it's no longer pink, breaking it up as you go along. Stir in the onion, sweet pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender (3-5 minutes) before removing the skillet from the heat and cooling for about 5 minutes. Stir the pesto into the sausage mixture.

Place a nonstick baking mat over a round pizza pan. If you don't have a baking mat, you can coat the pan generously with cooking spray. Arrange the crescent roll dough to form a sun burst shape, placing the thickest part of each triangle near the center of the pan to form an inner ring and the points facing outward and spilling off the pan.

Spoon the sausage mixture evenly over the dough near, but not on the edge of the inner ring. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sausage mixture and then carefully lift the pointed ends of the dough and wrap them around the fillings until they can be pressed to connect with the inner ring. If you have any remaining dough when you are done, form it into a long, thin piece of dough and tuck it into the inner circle before baking.

Bake the ring in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Allow the ring to cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully slicing into servings. If desired, serve with tomato sauce as a condiment.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes