I tore this recipe out of a magazine last month because it looked so easy and so good. I made it recently when a couple of friends stopped by for dinner. I threw this together as a quick weeknight meal and it was really delicious. How can you go wrong with sausage, spinach and cheese? The nice thing is that you only have to make the filling. You then wrap it in pizza dough that you buy pre-made. At first I thought it was cheating, as I like to make everything myself, but for a quick weeknight meal I think a little cheating is fine. In addition, I’m just starting to successfully work with yeast, so until I really get the hang of it, it’s store-bought pizza dough for me!
You can play with the ingredients a bit when you make this recipe. It’s very forgiving. I threw in some extra sausage because I had it and some extra cheese because when I grated the fresh mozzarella, there was a little left over, so I just threw it all in. The calzone was very stuffed, but it was delicious. The picture above is the end of the calzone. The middle pieces had much more stuffing in them, but it tasted so good hot out of the oven that we ate most of it before we remembered to photograph it. After my husband snapped the picture above, we inhaled the last two pieces.
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Go Green Giant Calzone
From Everyday by Rachel Ray
2 pounds baby spinach
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings discarded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1 pound store-bought pizza dough
1 1/2 cups store-bought marinara sauce
In a large skillet, bring 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add half of the spinach and cook, turning, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes; drain. Repeat with the remaining spinach. Let cool slightly, then squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible. Coarsely chop, then transfer to a large bowl.
In the same skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the onion and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the spinach mixture. Stir in the mozzarella and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Grease a baking sheet with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. On the baking sheet, stretch out the dough to form a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Mound the filling lengthwise down the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on the short edges. Fold the 1-inch edges toward the center, then fold each long side over the filling. Flip the calzone seam side down and re-tuck any open ends. Rub the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil over the calzone, then cut 2 small vents in the top. Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with the marinara sauce.
Yield: 6 servings (or 4 if you’re very hungry)