Childhood memories quickly flood as I am reluctant to turn that pizza dough over and make the pizza into a calzone. You see, I am a constant. I don’t like change, yet I like challenge and this comes both in my personal life..and well..in cooking.
Pizza is on a regular basis in the Ferraro house, and we’re pretty picky with how we like it too. extra sauce, (for me), thin crust, high heat and that’s the way we do it every few weeks.
< Then...then I get a craving. A surge of flavor adrenaline..an inkling that needs to be satisfied. And it comes from anywhere...could be a conversation, watching a cooking show...or in this case, an old memory. I've lived outside of the eat coast longer than I have lived in the east coast, but childhood memories of taking the subway, seeing Cats on Broadway and having the best Italian food a block down will never leave my heart. I try to replicate some New York favorites that I can't find on the West coast, such as my all time favorite 7-layer rainbow cookies or hearty knish. This time, it was the beloved calzone that salivated me. < Confession. I semi-homemade this. At $3 a pop, I'm going to splurge and buy the already made fresh pizza dough from the local shop (No Pillsbury here, but I won't judge). Keep it simple people, take it out of the package and leave it on the counter for about an hour to get to room temperature. This will also help the dough relax and make ti easier to roll out. Then...the fun begins. Get your toppings and fill 'er up, baby! My only suggestion (and peeve), don't include the sauce in the calzone, save that for the side. This is a calzone after all, and any good soul East Coaster knows to save it for the side.
Yields 2 large calzones
30 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 package pizza dough ( about 10 oz, some are different)
- 1/2 cup flour, for rolling out dough
- 1/2 cup full fat ricotta cheese, divided
- Small bunch of broccoli rabe, large stems removed or cut in half
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
- Cooked prosciutto or speck
- Tomato slices
- Red pepper flakes
- First things first turn that oven on to 450 degrees F and get it HOT. If you have a pizza stone, add that to the oven and let it get hot for at least 20 minutes. If not, use the bottom side of a baking sheet and place in oven to get hot.
- Then, make the broccoli rabe. In a skillet, drizzle with olive oil and add chopped garlic. Cook on medium heat until garlic caramelizes, about 2-3 minutes. Then add broccoli rabe and season with salt and pepper. Cook until it begins to wilt but still has a crunch to it and is a bright green color., about 4-5 minutes. If the stems are really thick, I'll place a lid over the skillet for a minute to help steam. When done, turn off and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Next, lightly flour a clean surface and cut pizza rough in half, so you'll have about 5 oz each. Use a rolling pin and toll out the dough to about an 9 inch oblong circle. You're going to fold it, so it doesn't have to be a perfect circle.
- Then on half of the side, leave a bit of a border of dough, to have room to crimp. Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese, then add broccoli rabe, grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Then pull over the other side of the dough and crimp the edges with a fork or your finger.
- Use a knife to cut a few holes in the top of the calzone and place on pre-heated baking sheet or pizza stone. Cook at 450 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown on both sides. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.
- Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.