I made sausage calzones for dinner last night. And yes, I added extra garlic. However, in my attempt to get dinner on the table quickly (for some reason, neither Patrick nor I had lunch), I completely left out a very important ingredient – mozzarella cheese! Ricotta cheese? Check. Parmesan cheese? Check. Mozzarella cheese? Doh! Thankfully I caught this error 5 minutes into the baking process. With a little skillful calzone surgery, I added the mozzarella and all was right with the world (and our calzones). They were delicious and I highly recommend the following recipe by Rachael Ray (Shh…don’t tell Patrick, because he can’t stand her!):
- 1 1/3 pounds raw Italian sweet sausage, casing removed
- A drizzle olive oil
- 2 cups ricotta
- A handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- A handful grated Parmigiano, plus extra, for knots
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated or a couple pinches of ground
- A few grinds black pepper
- 2 (10-ounce) tubes prepared pizza dough
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Garlic oil (1 or 2 cloves chopped and heated in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil)
- 2 cups tomato, marinara or pizza sauce for dipping or Five Minute Spicy Marinara, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Brown sausage in a small skillet in a drizzle of olive oil. Transfer the cooked crumbled sausage to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Combine sausage with ricotta, parsley, garlic, Parmigiano, nutmeg, pepper, and pimento. Roll out doughs and halve cross-wise. Place a dough rectangle on a nonstick cookie sheet. Use 1/2 cup mozzarella on half of each dough rectangle and pile a mound of filling on half of the total area. Fold dough over and pinch edges to seal. The result is a rectangular turnover.
For half-moon shaped calzones, trim excess dough. Roll dough bits into strips, tie in knots and brush with garlic oil and cheese. Garlic knots are fun to dip at the table.
Bake calzones 15 minutes or until golden all over. Serve calzones with warm tomato, marinara, or pizza sauce for dipping.
Cook’s Note: For an additional time saver, 2 packages precooked sausage crumbles, 8 ounces each, may be substituted for raw Italian sausage used in the above recipe.
Five Minute Spicy Marinara:
- 2 tablespoons (two turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (32 ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian dried seasoning
- 1 handful Italian parsley leaves, chopped
Add olive oil to medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add garlic and crushed pepper to the heated olive oil; when pepper snaps and garlic sizzles, stir in crushed tomatoes. Season sauce with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook for five minutes and stir in parsley. Serve.
Yield: 4 servings