ROTOLO (pizza rolls w/ mortadella, ricotta & pistachios)

Last week my husband and I went to visit my son in Philadelphia. For lunch we went to a place called,
“Pizzeria Vetri.” Marc Vetri is a chef that has worked in some prestigious restaurants both in the U.S. and Italy. When he decided to open his own restaurant, he went back to his roots and settled in Philadelphia. He now has several restaurants in Philly…all which are fabulous. Pizzeria Vetri is one of his newest ventures. Being a big fan of his food, going to his pizzeria was a no brainer.

I had read that the thing to order at Pizzeria Vetri is a “rotolo.” Vertri’s rotolo is pizza dough that’s rolled into a rectangle then layered with mortadella and ricotta cheese. After the meat and cheese is layered, the dough is then rolled like a jellyroll.

Once formed into a big log, it’s cut into 3 inch rounds, like cinnamon buns. They’re then baked until crispy and golden. Before serving, it’s topped with a spoonful of pistachio pesto.

I’ve always understood rotolo to be short rolls of stuffed pasta. When I heard that it was being done with pizza dough, I was intrigued. As soon as we walked into the restaurant and before we sat, I ordered a rotolo.

When I finally took that first bite, I hate to say this, but I was a little disappointed. 🙁 There was hardly any cheese.

All I tasted was crispy dough. A few days later, I decided to make rotolo myself. I made it the same way as Vetri’s except, I added plenty of ricotta. This made all the difference in the world. It was so damn good.

I hope you try this recipe, you won’t be sorry. Just remember, use plenty of cheese.


  • 1 pizza dough recipe
  • 1/2 lb. mortadella, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (more or less. Use your judgement)

Preheat oven to 400f degrees

Roll the dough to a 10 x 14 inch rectangle. When rolled, layer the mortadella on the dough, slightly overlapping.

Carefully spread the ricotta cheese over the meat, making sure every piece has some cheese.

With one of the shorter sides facing you, begin to roll the dough like a jelly roll. When you get to the end, put the open side down & trim the edges.

Cut the roll every 3 inches, like you were making cinnamon buns. Place the small rolls on a baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart with one of the flat sides facing down.

You don’t want the rolls to touch, otherwise they won’t brown. Bake them for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown all around.


  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic (I don’t like minced garlic, but the amount that suits your taste)
  • salt & pepper

Put chopped pistachios, Ex virgin olive oil & garlic in a small bowl. Stir together & add salt to taste.

Before serving, spoon some the pistachio pesto on top of each roll.

(If you would like to leave a comment, follow the link to the recipe)

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