Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spicy Sausage Calzones

Well it is crunch time! I am sure a few of you do not have any time to even turn around.  Christmas parties, cookie exchanges, wrapping presents and decorating the house does not give anybody much time to cook dinner.  The conversation went like this in our house...husband: "What is for dinner?" Me: "Dinner..well to be honest I had not even thought about it...

I looked through some cookbooks and recipe magazines.  I was surprised to find this recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine.  I love pizza (yum) and found these calzones to be quite tasty. With only 5 ingredients that require little effort to make, that added an extra bonus.  This recipe is for 4 calzones.

Spicy Sausage Calzones
adapted from Bon Apettit Magazine

1 10oz tube of refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups (14 oz) of marinara sauce
8 oz hot or sweet italian sausage

Take sausage out of casings and place in a medium size pan.  Cook over medium high heat until done, breaking up large clumps with fork.  This should take about 8 minutes. Place in separate bowl with slotted spoon and let cool.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease one baking sheet.

Once the sausage has cooled down, resume breaking up pieces to insure there are no large chunks. Then take a wooden spoon and mix in 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce.  Add the ricotta cheese and mozzarella. Sprinkle salt and pepper, seasoning to taste.

Open pizza dough package and fold dough out onto prepared baking sheet.  Using your hands, stretch the dough to a 11-12 inch rectangle.  Cut the dough evenly into 4 squares.  On each square, place 1/4 of your sausage mixture.  Fold dough over mixture and seal the edges.  You can do this by using the tines of a fork or fold or roll up the edges. Take a paring knife and cut 3 slits in the top of each calzone (this allows for steam to escape while baking).

Place calzones in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.   Remove from oven to cool for about 5 minutes.  While cooling, warm the remaining marinara in a saucepan.

Serve calzones warm with sauce on the side. 

With a twist:  There are many variations of fillings, depending on each person's taste. However, it is important that it not be too watery or too dry. In addition, the dough can be brushed with oil and sprinkled with garlic powder or Parmesan cheese. Use your imagination and taste to personalize this recipe.