Crazy good calzones
I have seen many variances on this recipe, but it is always reasonably cheap to feed a lot of people with. I don't like to mess with yeast breads, so I always buy my pizza dough pre-made at the store; although it isn't always the cheapest way to go it is the most convenient. This recipe can be used to make calzones or a Stromboli, depending on how much time you have or if you feel like messing with it.
Calzone filling: (can include anything really after the first X ingredients!)
16 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 Teaspoon dried basil, or if you have fresh a small handful chopped
2 Cloves garlic, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dry garlic powder
1/8 Teaspoon each of salt and pepper
Handful of shredded Italian cheese blend (about 1 cup)
Once the basic filling has been made, anything can be used to add nutrition and flavor. My husband likes meat with everything, so I sometimes chop up some Genoa salami or pepperoni and add it in. I ALWAYS add one box of chopped frozen spinach as well, defrosted and drained, to the mix. Spinach, as we all know from Popeye, is super healthy and not very expensive. Mixed with all that cheese it isn't hard to get kids to eat it at all either!
To make calzones you would open and roll out the pre-made pizza dough and using a pizza cutter separate the dough into 3 or 4 pieces. Then fill the dough with the ricotta cheese mixture and fold the dough back over onto itself. You will need to pinch the edges together for the dough to hold (In a pinch I have used French bread dough from Pillsbury instead of pizza dough and itís also quite tasty)
For Stromboli (which is how we usually do it because I am rushing) just roll the dough out flat and use a spatula to spread the cheese mixture onto the dough and roll up the dough. Pinching the ends under the bottom so that the dough will hold shape as it cooks.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and put your calzones or Stromboli onto a sheet of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and enjoy!
Items that rock in a calzone or Stromboli can include:
Black olives, pepperoni, chopped tomato, broccoli, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, ham, turkey, or really almost anything vegetable or meaty that may be in the fridge and needs to be used up! The wonderful thing about the things I try to post is to impress upon everyone that recipes should be used as a guideline and add things that taste good to you to make it perfect! The most important thing is to use healthy foods and minimize the use of salted or processed meats. Of course some people cannot do purely vegetarian food, so for those just chop up some tasty lunch meats you may have and just add them in to accommodate personal tastes. You can't make it wrong as long as you stick to the basic recipe above.
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