Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Calzones can be an easy, tasty dinner, and are easily customizable for different family members and their tastes. I use refrigerated dough because I usually don't have time to deal with yeast and such, but if you like to make your own crust, you can certainly do that. I'd say that one roll of refrigerated store-bought dough makes a calzone large enough to be dinner for three or four adults or 4 kids, depending on what else you serve with it and how hungry your people are. You can also cut the dough in half and make two smaller ones with different fillings. Here's a filling I really like, but you can put pretty much anything you want in there. Oddly, I tend to shy away from ricotta in a calzone, even though I generally like it.


1 roll refrigerated pizza dough, or homemade crust enough for one pizza
1 lb Italian sausage, (no casings)
1 carton fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry.
1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese

In a large, deep skillet, brown Italian sausage, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain fat and return to skillet. Add sliced mushrooms and saute a few minutes, until soft. Add spinach and stir to combine mixture and heat spinach through.

On baking stone or cookie sheet, unroll and spread out the dough. Place filling along one half, leaving a couple inches around the margin to seal. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold the empty half of dough over the filling and press edges together to seal the dough. Crimp sealed edge with a fork if desired. Cut a few small slits in top crust so steam can escape. If you want to be fancy, you can brush the top with an egg wash and sprinkle with parmesan, but you don't have to. Bake in a 375 oven for 15 or 20 minutes, or until the crust looks done. (Be careful of the top crust over-browning before the bottom one is quite done. If you think this is happening, tent a piece of foil over it.) Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with marinara sauce over the the top or on the side of each portion.