You can make calzones using any pizza topping as a filling (see “11 Ideas for Pizza Toppings,” page 614, for suggestions), but they’re best with a combination of cheese and vegetables. The filling should be substantial but also be fairly dry; liquid fillings will leak or make the dough soggy. That’s why drained ricotta, which is moist but not wet, is the ideal base.
Serve calzones plain, or with Fresh Tomato Sauce (page 313), or any other tomato sauce, for dipping or topping.
- Yield: 3 Servings
- Total Time: 3 Hours
- 1 recipe Pizza Dough (page 609), mixed and risen
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup chopped cooked spinach or other greens, such
- as chard or broccoli (see page 153)
- 1 cup chopped or grated mozzarella
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- When the dough is ready, knead it lightly and cut it in half. Form 2 balls and place them on a lightly floured work surface.
- Sprinkle with a little more flour, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes.
- If the ricotta is very wet, drain it in a fine-meshed strainer for 10 minutes or so to remove excess moisture. Transfer to a large bowl, add the vegetable, mozzarella, and Parmesan, and mix until well combined. Taste and add salt, if necessary, and pepper.
- If you’ll be baking the calzones on a pizza stone, put the stone on the lowest rack of the oven; if not, lightly oil a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 350°F. Roll or lightly press each dough ball into a disk, lightly flouring the work surface and the dough as necessary (do not use more flour than you need to). Let the disks sit for a few minutes; this will allow the dough to relax, and make it easier to roll out. Roll or pat out each ball of dough into an 8- to 10-inch round, not too thin, on a floured pizza peel or the prepared baking sheet.
- Put half the filling into the center of each dough round. Moisten the edges with a little water. Fold one edge over onto the other and press closed with your fingertips.
- Bake the calzones directly on the pizza stone or on the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve hot or warm.
- SPINACH-ARTICHOKE CALZONES Substitute ½ cup room-temperature cream cheese for 1 cup of the ricotta. Use spinach for the green and add ¾ cup chopped cooked artichoke hearts and 1 clove garlic, minced, to the filling mixture in Step 2.
- VEGAN SPINACH CALZONES Increase the chopped greens to 2 cups. Whirl them together in a food processor with a 14- to 16-ounce package extra firm tofu, drained and cut into several pieces, 2 cloves garlic, and salt and pepper until smooth and fully combined. Continue with Step 3. V