Perfectly portable and easy to assemble, calzones are a fun variation on a classic pizza night. Savoury sautéed onions, mushrooms, and peppers are nestled alongside fresh ricotta and mozzarella, then folded inside a pillowy dough. These pockets are served alongside a simple, piquant homemade red sauce. Buon appetito!
Makes 4 calzones
Red Sauce Ingredients:
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1-1/4 cups whole milk mozzarella cheese, grated
1-1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
1 packet of fast-acting yeast
3.5 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons cornmeal, (for sprinkling)
1 egg, whisked (for the egg wash)
Garnishes: Grated parmesan & Basil
1. Make the sauce. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients together and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to ladle the sauce in a thin layer directly onto the calzone dough.
2. Cook the filling. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, or for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, bell peppers, Kosher salt, and pepper. Cook until all of the ingredients are soft and aromatic, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to assemble the calzones.
3. Prepare the dough. Measure and heat the water to 110°F. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow the yeast to stand undisturbed for a few minutes. It's ready to use when it looks slightly foamy on top.
4. While the yeast is dissolving and activating, whisk 3.5 cups of the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
5. Add the olive oil to the yeast and water. Pour into the flour mixture. Using a large mixing spoon (and then your hands) stir to combine the mixture until a sticky dough forms and all of the ingredients are mixed.
6. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it double in size, about 30 minutes.
7. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide it into 4 even pieces. Knead each section of dough individually, adding a little bit of the remaining flour to the dough and the working surface as needed until the dough balls are smooth, and not too sticky. Place the dough balls under a kitchen towel and let them rest for another 15 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet with a generous sprinkle of cornmeal (this will help prevent the calzones from sticking).
9. Select one ball of dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, begin to flatten the ball into a round disc, about 8" in diameter, starting from the center and working out to form the crust.
10. Assemble the calzones! Once the dough is formed, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the red sauce on one side, leaving 1" open on the edge. Next, add the sautéed vegetables and cheeses over the red sauce. (Remember to avoid overloading the fillings -- this could make your calzones burst during baking.) Brush the edges with a small amount of water, and then fold the dough over the filling to create a semi-circle. Press the edges with your fingers to seal, then crimp the edges with your fingers to secure.
11. Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls to create 4 individual calzones. Place the calzones on two parchment-lined baking sheets and brush with an egg wash. Use a sharp knife or sharp kitchen shears to slice 3 vent holes in the top of each calzone to allow steam to release. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the calzones are cooked through and the crust is golden brown.
12. Sprinkle with parmesan and basil and serve with the remaining red sauce for dipping.