It’s like a pre-folded pizza slice!
Let’s go ahead with one more big hurrah of comfort food before spring pokes its head in the door with fresh vegetables, shall we?
This is a pretty easy-peasy, no-nonsense recipe. Nothing tricky, nothing fancy, just a few good tips on making a really great calzone.
Originally, I wanted them to be more empanada sized. However, during the process, they really just expanded and it felt right to make them something in between the full calzone (where you’d slice and serve) and a tiny hand pie calzone. The advantage here is time; less rolling and folding, but everybody still gets their own. You could even have everyone put their own fillings in it and make little initials with extra dough to put on top. (I made little math signs to decorate the tops.)
So, here are my tried and tested tips to whip up a simple calzone in no time.
- Enough dough for one standard pizza will yield 3 smaller calzones. Alternatively, you can make your own. Some pizza dough yields two pies, some only one, so read the package and use your best judgment.
- Use two kinds of cheese. One mozzarella, and something nice and melty like a queso quesadilla or a fontina.
- Don’t put the red sauce inside the calzone, it will only yield really wet dough on the inside. Make it a drizzle or dipping sauce.
- Brush the tops lightly with olive oil. It will help them crisp and create a lovely golden shell.
- Keep it simple with the ingredients. The more things you stuff in there the more work you end up doing prepping. Cook up your choice of meat, add some fresh basil leaves (I used pesto because it’s winter), thinly sliced veg so you don’t have to sauté it, and throw in some minced garlic if you have a spare minute while getting everything else together.
- Despite limiting your toppings, do not be shy stuffing your calzones. You want them as full as possible without busting a hole in the dough when you fold it over. Otherwise, you’re basically eating a warm bread sandwich.
The best part? No sharing! Nobody is taking the piece of pizza with the most/best toppings on it or stealing all the mushrooms. To each his own.
- 2 ball fresh pizza dough
- flour for dusting the counter
- 1 pound Italian sausage removed from casings
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella cubed
- 8 oz fontina cheese shredded
- 1/2 red onion finely sliced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes drained
- salt and pepper to taste
- pesto optional
Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until cooked through, working it with a spatula so it doesn't stick together too much and stays in smaller hunks.
Preheat the oven to 425. Separate the pizza dough into six even hunks (3 per dough ball), and roll into smaller balls. Dust a surface lightly with flour and roll out one of the dough balls into a large circle. Fill with sausage, cheeses and red onions on half of the dough. Fold the dough over the fillings and press along the sides to seal. Repeat with the rest of the dough and ingredients. Lightly brush the top with olive oil
Bake on a foil-lined pan or pizza stone for 15-20 minutes, until the top of the calzone is starting to turn golden. Serve with diced tomatoes and pesto to garnish.