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This week I went back to Friday nights as a kid. It was always pizza night, but every so often my Dad would order something else. Calzone. Huge pockets stuffed with ham and ricotta and dipped in warm marinara sauce. They're messy and filling and delicious.
Calzone was always my idea of any stuffed dough food. The first time I saw an empanada I said "aw look, a mini calzone!" My husband found that hilarious. But growing up an Italian kid in Jersey, that was what I knew, and ate and remembered.
Making these at home is super easy. It's only a few ingredients and it doesn't have to look perfect. As a matter of fact, I'd throw some foil in the oven under your pan because odds are good that some cheese or oil is going to spill out. But it's a delicious, warming weeknight meal. Perfect for busy families, and pretty much contains all the things picky kids actually like to eat. Bread, cheese, and ham (you could use salami or pepperoni or not meat at all if you prefer.) For the grown-ups, serve it with a glass of wine and call it a Wednesday.
Makes 2 calzones, Serves 4
1 pizza dough (store brought is fine)
AP flour, as needed
2 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
5-6 slices deli ham (pepperoni, salami, speck, all good substitutes here) *optional
salt & pepper
1 c. marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 400° and grease a pizza pan or baking sheet with olive oil.
Sprinkle some flour into a glass or ceramic bowl and place the pizza dough in the bowl. Cover with a dish towel and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the cheeses until mixed well. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
Sprinkle more flour onto a flat work surface. Pinch the pizza dough in half. Working with 1 piece at a time, stretch the dough into about an 8 inch round. You should be able to see some light pass through the dough when you hold it up.
Place a single layer of ham on one end of the dough, leaving about a half inch to an inch of space at the edge.
Spoon in half of the cheese mixture.
Fold the dough in half, covering the filling and pinch the edges to seal tight. Place the calzone on the greased baking sheet while you make the second one.
When both calzones are formed and on the baking sheet, bake them for 20 minutes. Check to make sure the dough is cooked through. Depending on your oven and your crust preference, they may need another 10 minutes.
While the calzones cook, heat your marinara sauce in a small sauce pan over low heat. Spoon it into small bowls.
Serve the calzones hot, 1/2 of each per person, along with marinara sauce.