Ricotta and Spinach Calzone
Filled with a mixture of creamy ricotta and sautéed spinach and onions, these calzone are fun to eat out of hand. Or, if you like, outfit diners with knives and forks and serve them with a side of tangy marinara sauce for dipping, just like you might find at a classic Italian American pizzeria.
- All-Purpose Pizza Dough (see recipe at left)
- 10 oz. baby spinach
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, finely diced
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- All-purpose or bread flour for dusting
The night before serving, prepare the pizza dough and refrigerate. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before forming the calzone.
To make the filling, rinse the spinach but do not dry it. In a large frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach, cover and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the spinach mixture in a sieve, pressing gently to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl, add the Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Position racks in the center and lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Oil 2 rimmed baking sheets. Divide the pizza dough into 6 equal portions, and shape each portion into a ball. Place the balls on a work surface and cover with a kitchen towel. Place 1 ball on a floured work surface, and roll out into a round 7 inches in diameter. Brush the edges of the round lightly with water. Place one-sixth of the cheese mixture on half of the round, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered. Fold the dough over so the edges meet, then crimp with a fork. Pierce the top of the calzone with the fork and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, putting 3 calzone on each baking sheet. Brush the calzone with olive oil.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 6 calzone.
Variation: You can fill a calzone with just about any combination of meats, cheeses and vegetables that you’d put on a pizza. For example, replace the spinach in this recipe with 1 cup sautéed sliced mushrooms or zucchini, or cooked and crumbled Italian sausage.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).