These were really great. A little pocket filled with some cooked apple sausage and a mixture of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Baked and served with a bright marinara sauce. Big Pete could not stop eating them. I think leaving the ingredients inside fairly dry contains the mini calzone while baking and then you can add as much sauce as you like one you are eating it. I just pour in inside but, you could also smother the top of them .
You will need:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp regular yeast
- 3 cups flour (00 if you can get it)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 fresh sausages- I have used a gorgeous apple pork sausage but Italian would be great too
- 1/2 onion- minced fine
- 2 cloves garlic - chopped fine
- 1 tsp Italian seasonings
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp parsley
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 14oz. can of tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes
- a few basil leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp olive oil - I used a beautiful Italian Titone
- salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: just like making any other pizza start with warm water in a large bowl and add yeast and honey. Stir and leave 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Add flour and mix in the bowl until it becomes too stiff to stir, then pour every bit on to the counter and continue kneading until your dough is no longer sticky. Add some oil to the bowl, roll the dough to coat in oil and cover with plastic wrap. I leave the dough in the fridge at least 24 hours but, it is good to use after 1-2 hours if you don't want to wait.
Step 2: remove casings from 2 good quality sausages. I have used an apple pork sausage but, a great Italian sausage would be perfect here. In a small pan add sausage and cook while breaking up the meat. Set aside to cool.
Step 3: in the same pan add onions, garlic, Italian seasonings and chili flakes. Cook until softened. Set aside to cool.
Step 4: take cooled sausage and onion mix and place in a food processor. Add fresh parsley and basil and pulse until pureed.
Step 5: add meat mix to a large bowl and add ricotta, mozzarella, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside. I really like this ricotta I just found which is a combination of cow and goat's milk.
Step 6: in a blender add a small can of diced tomatoes, garlic, chili flakes, fresh basil and parsley. Blend for 1 minute.
Step 7: Place sauce in a small saucepan and cook 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper or more chili flakes. Turn off heat and add good olive oil. I used a beautiful Italian oil called Titone.
Step 8: I always remove my dough from the fridge at least an hour before rolling it to get it to room temperature. Then I turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide dough in half and half again until I get the sized balls I want for my calzones. I like them small because they don't tend to break as much and they are nice and easy to hold while eating.
Step 9: roll out dough but, not too thin or your baked calzone with break open while baking. If you have any leftover dough you can always throw it in a ziploc bag (with room to expand) and make a pizza the next day or just put it in the freezer for another time, then just thaw and use when you are ready.
Step 10: Place some filling on the dough. I like to flatten it out. Fold over and pinch closed. You can seal with a fork pressed along the edge or I have just pinched every few Cm to create a decorative edge. I personally do not like a calzone to have too much of a doughy edge so I don't have too much excess dough on mine.
Step 11: place on a parchment lined baking pan (makes for easy clean up) brush with egg wash (optional) and bake in a 400 degree oven for approx 15 minutes or until browned. Your filling is cooked so just are just baking the pizza dough.
Serve with hot marinara sauce and just try to eat only one!