It’s a well-known fact that food, especially comfort food, has the power to bring people together. In 1998, during the famous ice storm that hit areas in Ontario, Quebec and where I lived in New Brunswick, my parents and I had no choice but to crash at my aunt’s house due to a lack of electricity at home.
When dinner rolled around, my father and I decided to make a nice, home-cooked meal for the whole family to thank them for their hospitality. That’s when he proceeded to show me how to prepare his famous calzone recipe. That night, although we were all stressed and worried about the storm, we put our problems aside to share a meal.
A calzone is a delicious Italian dish which is a folded pizza shaped like a crescent. It is made with either bread or pizza dough, depending on your preference. Typically, calzones are filled with tomato, mozzarella and any other toppings you would normally put on a pizza. However, feel free to choose the stuffing according to your taste buds. This recipe calls for a vegetarian filling.
In this recipe, you can make the dough from scratch or buy it already made in the frozen section of your local grocery store. If you decide to make the dough yourself, prepare the filling while the dough rises in order to save time. You can also make extra dough and freeze it for the next time you make calzones or pizza.
Serves: 6 to 8
Preparation time: 25 to 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp of dried basil (if fresh, use 3 tbsp)
1 can tomato paste
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup onions, minced
4 to 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella
Approximately 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 lb. bread dough
Salt and black pepper to taste
1) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, add onions and sautÃ© for about 5 minutes.
2) Add the peppers and mushrooms along with salt and pepper for flavour. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
3) Then, stir in the garlic and basil and cook for about 3 minutes.
4) Add the tomatoes last, so that they do not get soggy. Stir for 2 more minutes.
5) Stir in the tomato paste and set the whole mix aside.
6) Place the ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella in a medium-sized bowl and mix.
7) Stir the peppers, mushrooms and onions into the cheese bowl.
How to assemble:
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit and grease a baking tray with some olive oil.
2) On a floured surface, separate dough into 6 to 8 equal sections and roll out into circles.
3) On one half of each circle, place approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of filling, allowing enough room to close the calzones into the shape of a half-moon.
4) Brush a little water on the edges in order to moisten the rim of the calzones. This will make it easier to seal the dough.
5) Fold over the empty side of the dough and press the edges with a fork to seal the calzones shut.
6) With your fork, poke little holes on the top surface of the calzones.
7) For a shiny surface, beat 1 egg with some water, then brush over the calzones.
8) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the calzones turn golden in colour.
Best served alone or with salad.