Photo by Judith Hausman
Calzones are like amplified pizzas. The enclosed filling, often pillowed on top of ricotta, makes them neatly portable and somehow cozier than pizza, and they’re just as quick to compose. Traditionally, pizzerias serve calzones with a side of mild tomato sauce for dipping or slathering, but I omitted that flourish for the calzone dinner I made the other night. I made one giant calzone to cut in slices. A portion of pre-made, refrigerator-case pizza dough will make two large or three smaller, individual ones instead, if you’d like.
I realized that the beautiful greens unfurling at the farm would be perfect to fill a calzone. I used torn beet greens, mustard greens, chard leaves and spinach. I cooked them with garlic and then spiked them with some anchovy paste and hot pepper flakes for oomph-y counterpoint to the creamy, whole-milk ricotta. Almost any creative combination can fill them as well: leeks and asparagus, green onions and sautéed mushrooms, strips of prosciutto or crumbled cooked sausage and roasted peppers.
One side of the crust received the whole-milk ricotta and the toppings. I folded the other semi-circle over the topping and crimped the sides. Now place it in a hot oven for 20 minutes or so. Done and yum.
Yields: One very big calzone, two large or three smaller ones.
- 1 portion prepared pizza dough
- 5 to 6 cups young greens (beet greens, mustard greens, chard leaves, broccoli rabe, spinach), cleaned, chopped
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste or 3 to 4 anchovy filets, mashed
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, Locatelli, pecorino or other sharp cheese, grated
Sauté the garlic in a little olive oil until it becomes fragrant. Add the greens and cook quickly until they wilt and reduce. Cool slightly.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the dough onto an oiled pizza stone or cookie sheet or cut the dough and stretch it into two or three circles, placing them on the stone or sheet.
Spread half of the circle(s) thickly with the ricotta. Spread the greens over the cheese. Dot the anchovy paste over the greens and sprinkle the pepper flakes and grated cheese all over. Carefully fold the other side of the circle over the filling and crimp the edges to seal them. Bake until browned, 20 to 30 min.