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Prosciutto and Ricotta Calzone
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~ Nick Malgieri

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La Belle Cuisine


Prosciutto and Ricotta Calzone

How to Bake: The Complete Guide to
Perfect Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Tarts, Breads,
Pizzas, Muffins, Sweet and Savory

© Nick Malgieri, 1995, HarperCollins


One 12-inch calzone, enough for 2 servings

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm tap water (110 degrees F)
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup whole-milk or part-skim ricotta
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup coarsely grated mozzarella
4 ounces thinly sliced and shredded prosciutto,
or skinned and diced dried sausage,
or a combination

One 12-inch round pizza pan, cookie sheet, or jelly-roll pan, oiled

“A calzone (literally ‘trouser leg’) is a turnover made from pizza dough,
usually filled with cured meats, cheeses, and often herbs. So that the
flavors and textures of the dough and the filling may be appreciated,
the calzone should not be overstuffed. A calzone is delicious served
hot or at room temperature, which makes it a practical picnic food.
This may be made as individual calzone – see the variation at the
end of the recipe.”

1. For the dough, in a 2-quart mixing bowl, stir the flour and salt well to combine; make a well in the center. Measure the water and pour it into a
small bowl. Whisk in the yeast, then 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir the liquid mixture into the well in the flour and stir with a rubber spatula to form a
soft, sticky dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, Knead the dough gently, folding it over on itself. If it is very sticky, scrape it off the surface with a spatula or plastic scraper. Avoid adding more flour or it will produce a tough dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and only
slightly sticky.
3. Rinse and dry the bowl and spread 1 tablespoon of the oil all around the inside. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Turn the ball of dough upside down so that the top surface is oiled, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

4. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

5. To make the filling, place the ricotta in a mixing bowl and stir in the other ingredients in the order listed. Taste the mixture, and if it seems excessively bland, stir in a few pinches of salt; not too much – the sausage or prosciutto
is salty.
6. To shape the calzone, generously flour the work surface and scrape the risen dough from the bowl, in one piece, onto the work surface. Fold the dough over on itself from the outside edge inward, all around, to form an even ball of dough, cover the dough with a towel and allow it to rest on the work surface for 5 minutes. Flour the dough and press it with the palms of your hands so it forms an even disk. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Add pinches of flour to the work surface and the dough as necessary to keep it from sticking to the surface or the rolling pin.
7. Fold the disk in half, transfer it to the pan, and arrange the folded piece of dough in the position in which it will bake on the pan. Unfold the dough and spread the filling over half of it, leaving about an inch of uncovered dough around the edges. Paint the dough border around the filling with water and refold the unfilled dough over it. Press the edges together very firmly to seal and slash the top of the calzone in several places to allow steam to escape during baking.
8. Bake the calzone for about 30 minutes, until the dough is baked through and has turned a deep golden color.
Serving: Cut the calzone into two or more pieces and serve immediately. Or allow the calzone to cool and serve at room temperature.
Storage: Wrap any leftover calzone in plastic or foil and refrigerate. Allow to come to room temperature or rewarm in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes before serving.
Hints for Success: If the dough resists being rolled, cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before you continue.
Seal the open edges of the calzone carefully, by making lots of small, overlapping folds around the edge.

For spinach and ricotta calzone, add 3/4 cup cooked, drained, chopped spinach to the filling. Omit the sausage and/or prosciutto if you wish, though I like those rich flavors with the spinach.
Substitute boiled ham and Gruyère cheese for the prosciutto and mozzarella.
Also, you can substitute 1/2 pound cooked, cooled, and crumbled sweet Italian sausage for the dried sausage/prosciutto.


Individual Sausage and Pepper Calzoni

A double batch of calzone dough, above (do not increase yeast)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian pork sausage,
with or without fennel seeds
2 small (about 4 ounces each) red or
green bell peppers, halved,
seeded, and sliced thin
1 medium (about 6 ounces) onion,
sliced thin
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) coarsely
grated mozzarella (optional)

1. To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over a medium flame and cook the sausage until it begins to sizzle. Lower the heat and continue cooking, turning the sausage occasionally, until it has cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the accumulated fat from the pan and add the peppers, onion and garlic. Add the salt, pepper, and optional hot pepper and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables wilt and are just beginning to color. Cool the vegetable mixture, slice the cooled sausages, and stir them in.
2. To shape the calzoni, flour the work surface and turn the risen dough out onto it in one piece. Fold the dough over on itself from the outside edge inward, all around, to form an even ball. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and fold each piece of dough inward again to make 4 balls. Cover the pieces of dough with a towel and allow them to rest on the work surface for 5 minutes.
3. Flour each piece, then press them, one at a time, with the palms of your hands to form even disks. Use a rolling pin to roll the disks of dough out,
one at a time, until each is about 8 or 9 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Add pinches of flour to the work surface and the dough as necessary
to keep it from sticking to the surface or the rolling pin.
4. Fold the disks in half and transfer them to the pans, arranging the folded pieces of dough in the position in which they will bake on the pans. Unfold
the disks of dough and spread a quarter of the filling over half of each of the disks on the pans. Leave a 1-inch border of dough around the edges of the filling. Sprinkle the filling with the optional mozzarella. Paint the uncovered borders with water and refold the unfilled dough over it. Press the edges together very firmly to seal and slash the top of the calzoni in several places
to allow steam to escape during baking.
5. Bake as above.

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