A calzone, in Italian: “stocking” or “trouser”, is an Italian oven-baked folded pizza that originated in Naples. A typical calzone is made from salted bread dough, baked in an oven and stuffed with salami or ham, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, as well as an egg. Different regional variations on a calzone can often include other ingredients that are normally associated with pizza toppings.
Whenever I come home after a holiday abroad, whether it be in North America, Asia, Europe or the Mediterranean, as well as bringing back those ubiquitous gifts for friends and family, and cook’s ingredients for myself, I also like to bring back recipes that I have eaten and enjoyed whilst I was away. So, when I came back from Sri Lanka earlier in this year, I not only brought back some authentic hopper pans, but also a recipe for Sri Lankan Egg Hoppers too! Similarly, when I returned from Provence in the south of France last year, it was a recipe for Provençal Stuffed Apricot & Goat’s Cheese Salad with Edible Flowers that I brought home with me. And, after enjoying several Mediterranean cruises over the last two years, and having visited Italy several times, one recipe that captivated my taste-buds and imagination whist I was in Rome, Pisa and Florence, was the Italian Calzone – Stuffed Pizza Pasties.
So, today’s recipe for “My Holiday Dish”, is a recipe for my take on an Italian Calzone, and is a meaty version that is packed with cured meats, bacon, cheese, capers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and herbs; a calzone may seem tricky to make, but, if you can make bread and a pie or pasty, then you will be able to rustle up a batch of calzoni with ease! Likewise, if you are vegetarian or catering for veggie family and friends, then omit the meat and add more vegetables such as peppers, courgettes, aubergines and mushrooms – I bet even the meat eaters will also enjoy the veggie version. I have included a basic recipe for the pizza bread dough in the recipe, but, if you have your own favourite recipe for pizza dough, then by all means use that.
The recipe for “My Holiday Dish”, which is from Italy of course, is shared below and although I have suggested you can make four individual calzoni, I found it easier to make two larger calzoni and then cut them into slices – as you can see from my photos. Calzoni, like all pies, pasties, tarts and quiches, are perfect for picnics, school and office lunch boxes as well as for large gatherings and parties – these can be made beforehand, and freeze beautifully either at the unbaked or baked stage – they can then be baked from frozen, adding a a few extra minutes, or reheated, although they are also delicious when served cold too. Serve them, as I did, with a simple salad of seasonal lettuce leaves and a drop of Italian dressing……..and, I can report that they always prove to be very popular when I make them here at Chez Lavender and Lovage! Enjoy and see you soon, Karen
Italian Calzone (Stuffed Pizza Pasty)
|Prep time||2 hours, 30 minutes|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
|Total time||2 hours, 50 minutes|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish, Snack|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party|
Italian Calzone (Stuffed Pizza Pasty) – these stuffed pizza pasty type pies are packed with Italian meat, cheese, tomatoes, capers, artichoke hearts & herbs, and are truly delectable. Perfect for picnics, lunch boxes and family weekend supper or lunches.
- 300g strong plain white flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 teaspoon dried yeast (5g sachet)
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 150mls tepid milk
- 100mls tepid water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 125g smoked lardons
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tomatoes, diced (or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved)
- 200g assorted meats, diced (such as chorizo, ham, prosciutto and salami)
- 2 teaspoons dried organo
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 50g grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tin of artichoke hearts (200g)
- 200g mozzarella, diced into small cubes
These stuffed pizza pasty type pies are packed with Italian cured meats, cheese, tomatoes, capers, artichoke hearts & herbs, and are truly delectable. Perfect for picnics, lunch boxes and family weekend supper or lunches.
|Step 1||Pizza dough: Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in a bowl or in a food mixer with a dough hook; then add the olive oil, water and milk. Knead until smooth – this will take about 8 to 10 minutes, or if using a food mixer, knead for 4 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and has not lumps.|
|Step 2||Put the dough into a floured bowl and cover with some cling-film or a clean tea towel, set it somewhere warm and allow to rise for about 1 hour – it should double in size in an hour.|
|Step 3||Pre-heat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas mark 8 and grease and/or line a baking tray with oil and/or grease-proof paper.|
|Step 4||Fry the lardons in a large frying pan and once the fat starts to run, add the onions, garlic and chopped tomatoes. Fry until the lardons are crisp and the onion is cooked. Take the pan of the heat and add the remaining ingredients for the filling, and mix well. Set to one side.|
|Step 5||Tip the dough out onto the floured surface and cut into 2 or 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll out to 2 x 12″ (25cm) circles or 4 x 8″ (20cm) circles.|
|Step 6||Share the filling between all the dough circles, spooning it onto one half of each circle, leaving a 1″ (2.5cm) gap around the edges.|
|Step 7||Brush the edges with a little water and then fold the dough over the filling to make a pasty shaped pie, crimping the edges to from a tight seal.|
|Step 8||Place the calzoni onto the prepared baking tray and bake in pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bread dough is cooked and is golden brown.|
|Step 9||Allow the calzoni to cool slightly before serving them cut into thick slices with salad. (Allow 1 calzone per person if making 4 smaller ones, and 1 between 2 people if making the 2 larger ones.)|