Many countries have some form of hand-held food in a pocket, traditionally made at home then carried to work in the fields, mines or similar to provide much needed sustenance without the need to sit down or use cutlery. In England you have the totally delicious pasty, in China the steamed bun, in Central Asia the Samosa and my favourite of all from Italy, the . Now, I’m not comparing my efforts on our property to a hard days toil down the mine, but I do find to be the perfect convenience food to have on hand for long weekends spent working in the garden. If you have children, mini-calzones also make an enviable packed lunch alternative to the usual sandwich. , is essentially a pizza folded over…so to be honest I’m struggling to come up with a situation where a more portable pizza would not be ideal!

Calzones can be made ahead and (depending on stuffing) freeze well. They are also a great way to use up leftovers or seasonal produce. Although authentic versions tend to include , usually Ricotta or Mozzarella, you can easily make them vegan or even sweet if that’s your preference. For a special splurge, we once made one stuffed with apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter and topped it cream! Whilst we love to experiment, we generally make ours using the recipe below, with feta, ricotta and some form of or spinach substitute. Those are ingredients we always have on hand and we tend to save the more traditional marina sauce, olive and mozzarella combinations for our pizzas. Usually I make them sandwich sized, but when my husband does the honours, as you can see from the pictures here, they tend to be the size of a dinner plate…we may have to have serious words about portion control!

Ingredients (Makes 4 giant Calzone or double sandwich size)

Basic bread dough ingredients

– 650ml of warm water
– 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
– 1kg of bread flour
– 2 teaspoons of salt
– 2 tablespoons of oil

Calzone stuffing
– 500g spinach, washed
– 1 onion
– 2 chilies (or to taste)
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 cup feta
– 1 cup ricotta
– Salt / Pepper
– 1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg

Olive  oil for glazing.

Step 1. Prepare the basic bread dough methods here up to step 5, repeat step 3 and 4 and while the dough is resting prepare the filling.
Step 2. Prepare the spinach, remove the leaves, chop up the stem tips and rinse.

Step 3. Cook the spinach until wilted, drain, transfer to a separate bowl and allow to cool.

Step 4. Sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in some olive oil


Step 5. Once the spinach has cooled drain again and add the onion, garlic and chilli.
Step 6. Mix together the , , grated nutmeg, pepper and salt if required (if using store bought feta in brine salt may not be required) into the spinach mixture

Step 7. Prepare the oven and heat to 220C
Step 8. Divide the dough into four, roll the first portion out thinly (3-4mm) and cut out a circular disc, putting the leftover dough to one side.  If the dough is not elastic enough fold the dough over several times and roll it out again, this may need to be repeated until the dough is the right consistency.


Step 9. Spoon out a portion of the spinach mixture into the middle, brush glaze halfway around the edge, fold over and using a fork, seal the edge to form a calzone


Step 10. Repeat with 2nd, 3rd and 4th ball of dough
Step 11. Combine leftover dough to make a fifth (if there is any filling left – we often struggle not to eat it all out of the bowl during prep…).
Step 12. Glaze with olive oil, pierce the top with a couple of slashes with a sharp knife and transfer to the oven

Step 13. Bake for 30 minutes on pizza stone if available, remove from the oven and allow to cool, then eat fresh or store for later.

If you try making Calzone, I would love to hear about your favourite fillings in the comments section below.

 

Homemade Spinach and Cheese Calzone Recipe
 
Calzones can be made ahead and (depending on stuffing) freeze well. They are also a great way to use up leftovers or seasonal produce. Although authentic versions tend to include cheese, usually Ricotta or Mozzarella, you can easily make them vegan or even sweet if that’s your preference. For a special splurge, we once made one stuffed with apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter and topped it cream! Whilst we love to experiment, we generally make ours using the recipe below, with feta, ricotta and some form of spinach or .
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
Basic bread dough ingredients
  • 650ml of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
  • 1kg of bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
Calzone stuffing
  • 500g spinach, washed
  • 1 onion
  • 2 chilies (or to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup feta
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • Salt / Pepper
  • ½ tsp grated fresh nutmeg
  • Olive oil for glazing.
Instructions
  1. Prepare the basic bread dough methods here up to step 5, repeat step 3 and 4 and while the dough is resting prepare the filling.
  2. Prepare the spinach, remove the leaves, chop up the stem tips and rinse.
  3. Cook the spinach until wilted, drain, transfer to a separate bowl and allow to cool.
  4. Sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in some olive oil
  5. Once the spinach has cooled drain again and add the onion, garlic and chilli.
  6. Mix together the feta, ricotta, grated nutmeg, pepper and salt if required (if using store bought feta in brine salt may not be required) into the spinach mixture
  7. Prepare the oven and heat to 220C
  8. Divide the dough into four, roll the first portion out thinly (3-4mm) and cut out a circular disc, putting the leftover dough to one side. If the dough is not elastic enough fold the dough over several times and roll it out again, this may need to be repeated until the dough is the right consistency.
  9. Spoon out a portion of the spinach mixture into the middle, brush glaze halfway around the edge, fold over and using a fork, seal the edge to form a calzone
  10. Repeat with 2nd, 3rd and 4th ball of dough
  11. Combine leftover dough to make a fifth (if there is any filling left – we often struggle not to eat it all out of the bowl during prep…).
  12. Glaze with olive oil, pierce the top with a couple of slashes with a sharp knife and transfer to the oven
  13. Bake for 30 minutes on pizza stone if available, remove from the oven and allow to cool, then eat fresh or store for later

 


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