There's something to be said about calzones. I just wish I knew what it was. The only thing I know for sure is that if you like pizza, you are gonna like calzones. They are pretty much one and the same. In many cases, you will find all the usual suspects of ingredients on top of a pizza wrapped up in the cozy confines of a calzone.
Now, there are a few differences between the pizza and calzone. Besides the most obvious fact that the calzone looks like a great big empanada, the differences are very slight and seem to vary depending on who you ask.
One of the first things I noticed was that there seems to be a small debate about the dough. Some sites simply said to use pizza dough. Others gave a different, denser dough recipe for calzones. Personally, I was a tad skeptical using a light pizza dough recipe. I wanted to be able to pick it up and not worry about the filling tearing through it. I searched a few recipes and this is the one I went with. Yes, it's Jamie Oliver. Yes, I'm using a calzone dough recipe from someone that is NOT Italian. Know why? Because I got a serious bone to pick with Italians and their cooking.
I'm not gonna get into this completely, mainly because I'll be talking shit about one specific asshole Italian chef next post. I'll say this though. too many Italians think they got the lock on pasta. Sorry, the Chinese got ya beat. I'll take some hand-pulled noodles anytime, any day.
To keep myself from going on a rant about Italian arrogance in the kitchen, I'm gonna get back to the food at hand. That big ass calzone up top was fucking awesome! But it took a team effort! My mom and I decided that we would both have to get our hands dirty for this one.
If you have ever made pizzas at home, you know the ingredient list can quickly start to build up. This was not going to be an exception.
I made the dough ahead of time and portioned it out. While the dough was resting in the fridge, I made a batch of ricotta and let that strain. By the time the cheese was ready, it was go time.
Here we have basil, ground beef, Italian sausage and jar pasta sauce. I know, probably should have made the sauce too. But....fuck it, it was on sale.
Next, we have the cheeses. Parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta.
The only things not shown were the roasted garlic paste I made the day before and pepperoni. I didn't make the roasted garlic paste for this dish. I just made it for the house to be used for everyday cooking.
It broke down to me rolling out the dough and my mom putting them together. I don't have pictures of that because I was busy!!!
So here is a pic before they hit the oven.
The recipe for the dough said to brush it with olive oil before baking. I thought it looked a bit dull doing it like that. The next day we baked the remaining dough and used an egg wash. I think it had a much better shine to it.
With everything that went into making this, do I even need to explain how good this was? For bragging purposes, I will! It was fantastic. The dough had a nice little chew to it. The roasted garlic gave a great underlying flavor to all the the other little spices going on from the sausage and ground beef. The cheeses worked well together and melted perfectly. The last kicker was the accent of fresh basil. It was like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae.
I can't ever remember having a calzone this good. And I know I probably won't have another that good for a long time. I was really lucky to have someone there to cook the meats and wrap them up. I was even luckier that it was someone so close and who I love dearly.
Thanks Mom. For.....everything.