A calzone is an “Italian” oven-baked folded pizza that is usually eaten with a sauce (tomato sauce) over the top. The dough is usually made from a salted pizza dough: flour, yeast, olive oil, warm water and salt – most typically filled with salami or ham, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese folded into a half-moon shape with an egg wash and baked in the oven. The calzone doesn’t always have to be meat-filled as it is also a great way to use up your leftover vegetables!
Often, when I make calzones, I always make a few extra for freezing so that I can eat them later in the week. In addition, they are a great food to enjoy for lunch or dinner!
Fast forward to living in Italy, where a calzone is not a calzone at all, but rather known as a ‘panzerotti’ or roughly similar to the ‘cudduruni’ pizza.
A panzerotti is basically a fried calzone that is most typically filled with tomato and mozzarella and originate in Apulia (La Puglia) area of Italy.
A cudduruni is like a stuffed fried piece of focaccia-like bread. The dough is the same that you would make for when you make pizza: white flour, yeast, warm water, salt, and a bit of white wine (which is not typically found in pizza dough).
Some of the most typical fillings for a cudduruni are:
• tomatoes peeled and loosely crushed mixed with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and caciocavallo cheese.
• purple, green or white cauliflower (partly cooked in boiling water), topped with olive oil, garlic, salt, chili powder, caciocavallo cheese and sometimes anchovies.
• caciocavallo cheese, dried parsley, mixed seasoning, and olive oil.
• spinach leaves sprinkled with salt and chopped finely, raisins, mixed seasoning with a few crushed peeled tomatoes.
• thinly chopped onions sprinkled with salt and left on a dishrag or paper towel for about 20 mins, then squeezed. The onions are then mixed with fresh drained ricotta with a dash of pepper.
• fresh drained ricotta and fresh pork sausage (out of the casing) with wild fennel seasoning
With all of this being said, the American-calzone is still a little different than both the panzerotti and a cudduruni. Below is one of my favorite recipes for making calzones.
Hope you enjoy! Buon appetito!
35 MINUTES (PREP & MAKE)
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3-4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes
1 lb sausage, cooked and drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb pizza dough
Preheat oven to 450f.
Combine the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, fennel seeds, pepper flakes, sausage, sun-dried tomatoes and salt in a large bowl.
Place pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 even pieces.
With a rolling pin, roll out and flatten each piece into a 7 inch square on a piece of parchment paper.
Spread some of the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes onto each square, then take the spinach filling and place it evenly into the center of each square, making sure to leave about a 1″ border around the edges.
Brush the edges with the egg wash mixture, then fold the dough over spinach mixture, leaving the bottom 1/2″ border uncovered. Then, press edges of dough together and pinch with fingers to seal.
Brush the top of each calzone with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle a pinch of salt over each.
Place the parchment paper with calzones onto the baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes.
After 8 minutes, turn the baking sheet in the oven and then continue baking for another 7 to 10 minutes. You will know the calzones are done when they begin to brown perfectly.
Remove baking sheet from the oven, and move calzones to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 to 8 minutes before serving.
Serve with marinara sauce with a pinch of grated Parmesan cheese. Tastes great with a side of broccoli!