By now, most of you know about my deep, passionate love affair with… Italian food! I’ve never made a calzone but since I’m on a kick of making my own bread, breadsticks, pizza crusts, etc. I decided that it was time to make my own calzone!
I simply took my pizza dough recipe, altered it a little and made a calzone dough, then filled it with all of my favorite things! That’s the great thing about pizza and calzones, you can “load” them with whatever you like!
Ingredients – Dough
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- .25 oz active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- olive oil cooking spray
Ingredients – Filling
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb Italian pork sausage
- 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup homemade tomato basil marinara (for dipping)
Start by combining the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the warm water and olive oil. Mix until a solid dough forms.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a large bowl coated in cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise for an hour.
While the dough is rising prepare the filling ingredients.
Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes.
Add the ground beef and sausage. Cook until no longer pink. Drain the grease, then add 1 tbsp fresh basil, 1 tsp dried parsley and 1 tsp dried oregano.
Turn heat to low and allow the herbs to cook into the meat for 5-10 minutes.
In a small bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Add the additional basil, oregano and parsley.
Place in the refrigerator until ready to prepare the calzone.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Once the dough has doubled in size, roll into a thin, oval shape.
Spread the cheese mixture on the dough.
Top with the meat mixture.
Carefully fold the calzone in half.
Crimp the edges to form a tight seal around the calzone.
Brush the top with the additional tablespoon of olive oil to give it a nice brown crust.
Place in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
By this picture you get an idea of just how GIANT this calzone is!
You can easily half the recipe to make a smaller version or divide the dough in half to make two calzones with different fillings for friends or family members with differing tastes!
Serve with a warm side of scrumptious, homemade marinara sauce for dipping!
♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute 4 cups of vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and eggplant for the ground beef and sausage. Sauté the vegetables with the bell pepper and onion for 5-7 minutes.
♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten free flour in the calzone dough to make this recipe gluten free.