Italian Calzones


Finished cutWhat’s better than Italian food?  Italian Calzones that you can hold in your hand!   Eat them for a snack, lunch, supper or just because it seems like a good idea.

One of the things I like so much about this recipe is that it does not use a yeast dough for the crust.  That eliminates a lot of waiting time.  This crust is so full of flavor and is very easy to use and to make.  After the initial roll out of the crusts, I trim them into perfect 9″ circles by using an 9″ cardboard circle.  This isn’t because I am seeking perfection but because it is easier to enclose the filling if the circles are relatively perfect.

The calzone pastry is an all purpose savory pastry that I used for the  Goat Cheese Pesto Tart.  It makes great crackers rolled fairly thin, brushed with egg white and sprinkled with more cheese.

If you want a really great pastry use Kerry Gold butter with garlic and herb.  Lacking that any butter makes a great savory pastry dough for calzones.

The filling needs to be cold so it is best to make it a day or two ahead.  To make this even more attractive, the calzones freeze and reheat beautifully.

Italian Sausage Filling for Calzones – It is best to make this a day or two before assembling them to make it easier.Ingredients

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup red peppers, diced
1/2 cup yellow peppers, diced
1/2 cup green peppers, diced
3/4 cup onions, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups petite diced tomatoes with juice
3 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
5 ounces mozzarella, shredded
5 ounces provolone, shredded

Brown the sausage in oil, breaking sausage into small pieces. Meat browningMeat brownedCook completely through. Remove from pan.

Saute the onions until translucent. Onions inOnions brownedAdd the peppers and garlic; sauté until somewhat softened.  Peppers inPeppers cooked Return the sausage to pan and add the tomatoes, parsley, wine, tomato paste, salt and fennel seed. Remaining ingredientsSimmer until most of of the liquid is gone, Cookingbut do not dry it out completely. Cool.Cooked

Mix the cheeses together and add to the sausage mixture.  Cheese inCover and store in cooler.Filling mixed

If using immediately, cool completely first.

Yields: Approximately 990 grams or 2 1/8 pounds

Asiago Pastry – click here for how to photos using these ingredients
3 2/3 cups flour (510 grams or 18 ounces)
1 cup grated asiago cheese (114 grams or 4 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 sticks butter, cold and cut into small pieces (340 grams or 12 ounces)
3/4 cup ice cold water + additional if needed

Place the flour, asiago, salt and pepper in processor bowl. Process several seconds to mix well. Place the butter over the flour mixture and process until cut in coarsely. With the machine running, pour the water in and process until a ball forms. If it doesn’t form a ball within a reasonable amount of time, check to see if it is dry.

This is a lot of dough for a small processor. It may be dry on top but not the bottom. Be very careful when checking, the blade is very sharp. Dump it out if necessary. If the bottom is still wet, turn the dough so the dry side is on the bottom. Process again. If still a bit dry, add more water 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time.

The dough weighs approximately 1160 grams or 2 1/2 pounds. Divide into 6 -190 gram
or 6 2/3 ounce balls. Flatten each one into a small round. Chill briefly.

Asiago Pastry
Cooled filling
1 egg, well beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Flatten a ball of dough dough flattenedand roll it into a 9” round. Dough rolled outTrim it to a circle if necessary using a cardboard round or pan.  Trimming doughBrush edges of the pastry with water.Wetting dough Place one packed cup of filling (165 grams or 5 3/4 ounces) of filling on the lower third of the pastry.Filling on dough Fold the top of the crust over to meet the bottom edge. Press together with your fingers.  Sealing with fingersSeal with a  with a fork. Seal with a forkSealed Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cut 2 slits for vents.Cutting vents

Brush each with beaten egg.Brushing with egg wash

Double pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until deep golden brown.

These can be cooled, wrapped and frozen either baked or frozen. Thaw them if frozen or add 10 to 15 minutes to baking time.

Yield: 6 large calzones. If smaller calzones are desired, divide the crust by the number you wish to make and divide the filling as well.Finished whole

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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4 thoughts on “Italian Calzones

  1. sallybr

    Helen, what an interesting recipe for the pastry part, I always used a simple pizza-like dough for it, but I can see how this variation would be special

    saving this for the future – my beloved husband LOVES calzones, no matter the filling…

    Hope you are going to have a wonderful weekend, stay warm!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Sally – I hope Brazil was enjoyable. These are a bit different but the asiago pastry is wonderful. We have had a mild winter so far but if it continues I fear a roasting summer!

  2. Marilyn

    Happy to try this. I always. used doro kemoll s recipe before, more of a noodle dough, but this looks really good and different. I did switch, many years ago, to the Italian turkey sausage, or I mix. Thanks, stay warm..m

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thanks Marilyn. The turkey sausage is a great alternative. I use turkey in my chili also. We are having a really mild winter but that usually means a really, really hot summer. Last time we had over 100 degrees 10 days in a row. It was so hot all summer everything turned brown.

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