This post is my fourth in the #SeriousSandwich cookalong to celebrate the publication of Emeril Lagasse’s “Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches: Stacked with Flavor” (Morrow, $24.99) released today, Tuesday October 16, 2012. You can view my other delicious sandwich recipes here, here, and here.
I grew up with a mother who was a master at making Calzones, so we had them often, and I did not complain! They are the perfect comforting meal for one, an entire family, those with young kids, active teens, or for a pocket meal on the go.
Calzones are one of those foods I need to make more often, as they are super easy to put together, convenient to freeze, and so simple to bake upon request.
My Calzone recipe is pretty basic, using tomato sauce, pepperoni or thinly sliced ham, and shredded mozzarella, sometimes feta, and mushrooms. But, in Kicked-Up Sandwiches, you get just that, Emeril taking simple sandwich recipes to the next level, like this Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzone with ricotta, mozzarella, Parmigiana-Reggiano, fresh basil, and crushed red pepper. Yum!
In Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, Emeril states, ” I love this calzone with a variety of salami, but this is a recipe where you can safely go in many directions. Change up the cheese, use roasted red peppers or sautéed mushrooms instead of the meat, add Roasted Garlic (page 79) . . . I could go on and on. And you don’t have to eat them right out of the oven either—they travel well, so pack your picnic basket!”
Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzone
- 16 oz pizza dough, portioned into 8 oz pieces /Semolina Pizza Dough (page 298 Kicked-Up Sandwiches)
- 1 c Quick Tomato Sauce for Calzones (recipe follows) or your favorite jarred pizza/pasta sauce
- 1 c chopped fresh basil leaves
- 8 oz mixed sopressata, hot sopressata, Genoa salami, and/or pepperoni, chopped
- 1 c ricotta cheese, drained
- 8 oz smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 c finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 t crushed red pepper
- Flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and pureed
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preparation for Quick Tomato Sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes, until soft.
- Add the tomatoes, thyme sprig, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil, discard the thyme sprig, and set aside until ready to use.
Preparation for Calzones:
- Place a pizza stone in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. (Alternatively, place an upside-down rimmed baking sheet on the rack in your oven.)
- Halve one of the pieces of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to form two 8-inch rounds.
- Spread ¼ cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom half of each round, leaving a 1-inch border.
- Sprinkle ¼ cup of the basil and one-quarter of the cured meats evenly over each portion of sauce.
- Sprinkle one-quarter of the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and crushed red pepper over each portion of meat.
- Gently fold the top half of the dough over the filling, rolling and pressing the edges together with your fingertips to seal them, and crimping as you go along.
- Make 2 more calzones with the remaining ingredients.
- Depending on the size of your oven, you may be able to bake only 2 calzones at a time.
- Cut several small slits in the top of each calzone to allow air to escape while baking, and transfer the calzones to a pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with flour or cornmeal (to facilitate moving the dough). Tilt the pizza peel to slide the calzones onto the preheated baking stone.
- Bake for 16 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the dough is cooked through.
- Remove the calzones from the oven with the pizza peel or a spatula, and serve immediately or at room temperature.
If you are making your own pizza crust, that will add about 2 1/2 hours to the prep time. You may also want to make 8 smaller Calzones rather than the 4 very large.