Homemade Italian Sausage and Spinach Calzone
I am taking a break from building on the classic Italian dishes category to add a new one here it dawned on me although we have many pizza recipes we don’t have any for its cousin the calzone. Now if you have never had a calzone you are in for a treat they are kind of like a personal pizza that has dough on all sides so more like a traditional pie as we think of it on this side of the pond. Now just like there are endless possibilities with pizza toppings there are endless combinations of calzone fillings. A popular item that isn’t often unused in pizza which is used in many calzone recipes is the addition of ricotta cheese as one of the fillings.
Calzones can either be meat, vegetable, or a combination of both just like you would find on a pizza. Now what you put into it is entirely up to you I am merely offering up one suggestion to kick off the category and surprisingly enough this one does not feature ricotta. Now this doesn’t mean you couldn’t add it in if you want another wonderful addition to this would be mushrooms in my opinion and maybe even onions, simple enough to modify. There are no hard and fast rules to calzones from a filling standpoint it is merely personal choice so feel free to modify away this is merely one suggestion of items that go well together.
Now another thing adding parmesan on the outside is a personal choice too, of course you can omit this or sprinkle it on the pieces when you cut into it. This is a very filling calzone so it might be better to share with a friend unless you are feeling very hungry. I will over the next short while be adding others to the list so that you have more ideas of the possibilities that can be put together but like I said this is a personal thing so just remember to cook the meat, don’t fill it too much and you will probably find it easier to eat them with a knife and fork and dip it into the marinara sauce.
- 1 12 inch pizza dough
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 1 package frozen spinach chopped
- 2 cup mozerila cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sweet basil
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- cornmeal for dusting stone
- 1½ cupsfavorite marinara sauce, warmed
- Pick anyone of the dough recipes from our pizza dough category
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Tack and place the frozen spinach out to thaw.
- When thawed place it in a wire sieve and press out the excess water.
- Place this into a large glass bowl and proceed to the next step.
- Place a skillet on a burner and set the heat to medium. Take the sausage and remove it from the casings and fry this until fully browned and cooked through breaking it apart with a wooden spoon.
- When the sausage is done browning drain off the extra grease as much as possible and add this to the spinach return the skillet to the stove add the garlic and toast it for a few minutes. Add to the spinach and sausage.
- Take your prepared dough from above and on a floured counter or cutting board with a floured rolling pin roll it out to about a 12 inch circle.
- Add the seasonings to the sausage and spinach mixture and blend until incorporated.
- Spread some cornmeal on a baking stone.
- On half the dough add the sausage mixture to the top of the dough top this with the mozzarella cheese and fold the other half of the dough over this and seal the edge well.
- Transfer this to the stone with cornmeal and dust it with the parmesan cheese and place it in the oven and bake it until golden brown and heated through about 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place on a plate and serve with heated marinara sauce in a separate bowl for dipping. This is easiest to eat with a knife and fork.
Calzones are a very personal type of closed pizza or one with crust on top and bottom in all reality. So it is no wonder you will find them with many different fillings that are as different as the people who eat them. This is a very basic and simple calzone recipe to get started with if you are not familiar with the cooking process it is very similar to that of pizza. Now one big secret with both pizza and calzones is to fully pre-cook the meat this will cut down on the amount of grease in the final product as meat is the biggest contributor to this problem with pepperoni being the biggest culprit.