Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Calzone with sausage and cheese

Fun to make and fun to eat, calzones start with a simple pizza dough that only needs one rise. You can fill them with all kinds of things, ricotta and sweet sausage make a lovely combo.

Calzones with Ricotta & Sausage

For dough:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2-3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

In a standing mixer bowl add water and yeast and sugar and let proof for 5-10 mins until it gets all foamy and bubbly. Add 1 cup flour, salt and olive oil. Using dough hook stir at low speed until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if you want (i never do because the dough will eventually form a ball and scrape the sides for you if you are brave enough to increase the mixer speed) Add additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough comes together and forms a ball. Increase mixer speed to medium high and let mixer knead the dough for 5-10 mins. Oil a medium bowl with a thin coat of olive oil, place ball of dough in bowl and turn over to coat. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down and separate into 3 equal portions for large calzones, or 6 for small calzones. Pat or roll each portion of dough into a circle about 1/8-1/4 thick.

For filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella 
  • 3 sweet (or hot) italian sausages
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 16 oz baby spinach, cooked and drained, water squeezed out chopped (optional)

Remove casings from sausage and cook in a cast iron skillet, breaking up into small pieces until no pink remains. Drain fat. Combine cheeses, sausage, parsley and red pepper in a bowl. Add spinach if desired.

Place some filling on one half of each dough circle and fold other half over, creating a half moon. Use a fork or your fingers to seal edges. Brush with olive oil (add some garlic powder or chopped fresh garlic to the oil if you'd like) Place on a baking sheet or pizza stone that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake in a 350 oven for about 15-30 mins depending on size of calzone, until golden and bottom is firm and brown. Serve with tomato sauce.

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