I'm not going to lie. I've heard of calzones before, but had never had one. I'd never seen one, either. For Christmas, my biggest son bought me "fun food stuff" including some tiny bear pans (I'll tell you about those some time soon), and a pizza stone. So I figured I'd make one white pizza for New Year's Eve, and everyone could have a slice with their many selections of meat. Well, my middle daughter took up rooting for calzone instead, because she buys them at college and loves them. Off to Beth Hensberger's bread machine cookbook for guidance, where I learned that calzone translates to "trouser leg". Super. Now, how do I cook the things?
So, I used Beth's recipe for the crust, and adapted a recipe for stuffed shell stuffing I found in that day's newspaper (where the food people were telling us how much money we can save by cooking instead of eating out every day - DUH!!!!!). My little guy couldn't finish his, and I didn't even touch mine that night, although I reheated it the next day, and thoroughly enjoyed it, as did everyone else. Heck, they didn't even know this was pretty good for them!
CALZONES WITH SPINACH, CHEESE & SAUSAGE STUFFING
Crust for 4 "personal sized" calzones:
1-1/8 cups water
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp yeast
1-1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Mix in the bread machine or by hand or mixer. Let the dough rise for 15 minutes, while the filling cooks, then form into 4 balls and flatten each to about 6" to 8" diameter.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large finely chopped onion
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1 large egg
1 pound Ricotta cheese
2/3 cups grated Parmesan
1 tsp dried basil
Cut the sausage in pieces, and saute in the olive oil with the onion and garlic until cooked. Put in the food processor and pulse to cut into small pieces. In a bowl, mix the Ricotta and egg; stir in the spinach and basil, and add the sausage mix and Parmesan. Spread 1/4 of the mix on one half of each calzone dough. Liberally sprinkle the top of the mix with grated mozzarella, fold the dough over on top of the filling, holding the dough back about 1/2" from the bottom edge, then fold the bottom edge over the top part of the dough. Bake at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes, and let stand for a few minutes for the filling to set. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.I've been told I must make these again, so I guess they were a big hit!