Calzones always reminds me of my children when they were little. I did not always want to make pizza, and calzones where a good compromise where I was also able to “sneak” in some vegetables. The wonderful cheese filling always made me feel that they were having a good dose of calcium. When it comes to calzones, using the freshest ingredients will make all the difference. I use hand crafted ricotta and mozzarella and end up with a very fluffy calzone. If like my daughter you are a purist, making your own dough can also be an option. They can be made ahead of time, put in the fridge and baked later in the day. Our family likes them served with a good helping of tomato sauce. Add in a big tossed salad and you have dinner!
CALZONES (makes 4)
- 1 lb pizza dough
- 1/2 lb ricotta cheese
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan divided
- 1 egg
- 1/4 lb ham chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- cracked pepper
- egg wash : with a fork mix one egg and one tablespoon of milk
Let the dough come to room temperature (out of the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes). Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a floured surface roll each piece into 6 to 7 inch rounds.
In a bowl mix the ricotta, mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the parmesan . Break the egg in the cheese mixture and carefully mix it in with a fork. Fold in the ham, basil and a turn or 2 of cracked pepper.
Divide the mixture equally between each piece of dough, brush the edges with the eggwash, and fold into a half moon making sure to seal the edges very carefully by pinching the dough together. To make a stronger seal push the edges of the calzone with a fork as you would for a pie.
Put the calzones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and a couple of tablespoons of corn meal scattered on the paper. With a knife or scissors, cut 3 small holes in each calzone ( this will prevent the calzones from bursting). Brush each calzone with the egg wash making sure it does not drip heavily on the sides or the calzones will stick. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan on top of the calzones.
Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Serve with your favorite sauce.
NOTE: Thanks to my daughter Maya for the addition of the egg wash and parmesan, she is now the calzone expert in the family. You can replace the ham for cooked sausages or 1 cup cooked spinach and onion – but make sure all the moisture is gone from the spinach or you’ll end up with a soggy calzone.
From my kitchen to yours,