I wanted to put meat in them because we rarely eat meat for dinner - this would make them special. But I also wanted to incorporate a lot of vegetables because... well, they're good for him. I also wanted to include some sauce so he wouldn't have to take something separate to dip them into but was worried tomato sauce might seep through. After some thought and using what we had on hand, I came up with a recipe that really works. Pureed roasted tomatoes provide the sauciness (with no leak) and a little zing. We sampled some and were both really pleased- don't you just love it when things come together?
Prepare the dough first and let it rise while you make the filling. These freeze and reheat nicely, making them perfect for lunches. This pizza dough recipe is the one we make every Friday night (Pizza Night). It makes two large pizzas.
Makes 16 calzones
pizza dough (adapted slightly from More-With-Less Cookbook)
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp. yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. canola oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of your electric mixer, using the dough hook, pour 2 cups warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and turn the mixer on the slowest setting. Add the sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Keeping the setting on low, add the whole wheat flour. Once combined, slowly add the remaining flour. If need be, stop the mixer and lift out the mixer head so you can invert the dough ball, then mix again. Once well combined (not wet-sticky or stuck to the sides), form it into a ball in the same bowl. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand, cover with a clean dish towel and set in a sunny spot or in a warm room to rise for 1 hour. If the dough is very sticky, add a little more flour and mix again.
While the dough is rising, make the filling.
1 1/2 cups roasted tomatoes
1 lb. ground sausage
2 large onions, chopped
3 large red bell peppers, chopped (frozen work fine)
4 cups frozen chopped spinach, Swiss chard or kale
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. water
4 tbsp. cornmeal, divided
1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Puree the roasted tomatoes in a food processor until almost smooth. Set aside. In a large skillet, cook sausage, breaking it up, until almost browned through. Add onions and bell peppers and continue to saute until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is fully browned adding a bit of oil if needed. Add frozen spinach (or chard or kale) and cook down, uncovered until all the liquid evaporates (stir and check often to keep filling from burning). Take off heat and stir in the pureed roasted tomatoes.
Using the remaining egg mixture, brush the tops and edges of the calzones and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they are a light- medium brown. Transfer the calzones to cooling racks and let them cool completely before wrapping them in wax paper and then again in foil and place them in the freezer. Or, enjoy them immediately.