Saturday, January 8, 2011

Three Cheese, Sausage and Onion Calzones

This would be perfect for a low key dinner party along with a salad and some fun antipasto to go alongside. When it's just the two of us, we eat what we can for dinner and snack on the rest from the fridge throughout the week. What I love about this recipe, or any calzone for that matter, is how flexible it is. For instance Kris cannot get enough cheese - it actually freaks me out sometimes - so I divide the stuffing mixture in half before assembling the calzones and add another cup of mozzarella or whatever I have on hand to his. (I also skip adding the arugula to his as well as he doesn't like too much veg in his.)

As for mine - I load it up with veggies. Doing so makes me feel better about being too lazy to make a salad to accompany dinner;)

Three Cheese, Sausage and Onion Calzones
Serves 6-8 as a main course.

For crust, 1 recipe Pioneer Woman's Pizza Dough, as follows:
1 teaspoon or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling bowl
Extra flour for rolling out the dough

1. Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water.
2. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
3. With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, gently stir in the yeast/water mixture.
5. And drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture. Mix until the dough forms a ball. (You can also mix by hand until it comes together.)
6. Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl and turn the dough over in it to coat it in the oil.
7. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel (I used paper towels) and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours. After the dough has risen, divide the dough in half and place each half in a large ziploc bag and store in the fridge for up to 3 days (it freezes well too) or proceed to the next step if making right away.
8. Line two medium, rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil, then parchment paper. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray and set aside.
9. Preheat the oven to 450.

Calzone Filling:
I tablespoon olive oil
I large sweet or Spanish onion, chopped
Pinch salt
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
20 oz (1.25lbs) chicken or turkey sausage, removed from casings
Pinch salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Good pinch red pepper flakes (or 2)
Good pinch grated nutmeg
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella (double it if you're a cheese freak)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling over finished calzones
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1-2 cup arugula leaves (about a cup per calzone), optional
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with a generous splash of whole milk)

Add the olive oil to a large dutch oven and bring over medium heat. Add the onion, season with a good pinch of kosher or sea salt, and saute 6-8 minutes stirring occasionally until softened. Add in the bell pepper and cook another 5 minutes or so, until softened. Add in the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you do. Season with another pinch of kosher or sea salt and some fresh cracked pepper then add in the garlic and stir. Continue cooking, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

Remove from the heat and stir in the red pepper, nutmeg, cheeses, and salt. Set aside to cool (you don't want the mixture to be too hot when you fill your calzones or you'll end up with a gooey mess) while you roll out the dough.

Flour a cutting board or your counter well then take one of the halves of dough and add some flour to it (and your hands) so you can pat it into a submissive ball. Once you can handle it (this may take a couple additions of flour), plop it onto your floured working surface and flour your rolling pin to begin rolling. Roll out the dough, flipping over now and then to ensure it's not sticking (as well as the pin and board again, if necessary) until it's about 14x14 inches wide, trying to keep it as circular as possible (or at least oval.)

Add half of the filling over one half of the dough, spreading it evenly while leaving a good inch in the clear around the edge. Spread the arugula leaves, if adding, on top of the sausage mixture then fold the other half of the crust over the filling (you should have somewhat of a half moon shaped calzone when finished.) Now start at one end of the calzone and use your fingers to quickly and firmly roll and seal the edge from end to end. Think to yourself 'roll, pinch', 'roll, pinch' as you do. Don't be afraid of the dough - you want a good firm seal so the filling doesn't leak out.

Use your widest spatula to carefully transfer each calzone to a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush them with egg wash then sprinkle over parmesan or sea salt. Put in the oven on separate racks and bake at 450 for 12 minutes then swap their positions and bake for another 8 or so minutes, JUST until beginning to turn golden on top and around the edges.

Remove and let set up for 8 minutes before slicing and serving with warm marinara on the side.


Angie's Recipes said...

That's my type of comfort food! Really love this cheesy filling.

Jennifurla said...

Yes please, you have now givin me a craving that must be dealt with! darn you!!!!!!

Bridgett said...

My goodness, these sound perfect! I like your idea of loading it up with veggies too. Great recipe!

Jenn said...

I have to do the same thing with my Chris with a lot of things I make!! I love love love calzones, but have only made them like twice in my life...going to have to change that :) Yours look and sound amazing!!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Stop it with this!!! It's Monday morning and I'm dreaming up a bacon, egg and cheese one for breakfast! Fun and it!