Calzones

This family loves pizza night! Who doesn’t love a good pizza? All that cheesy, carby goodness?? It doesn’t get better than that! Calzone is pizza night with a twist and has two favorite elements of pizza. I love dipping my crust in marinara or pizza sauce, and I just love crust – if someone at the table doesn’t want theirs, I might snag it. Yeah, pretty shameless of me, right? If you’re a fan, calzone is a great way to get more crust and sauce in every bite. This time I painted the dough with a simple mixture of olive oil and garlic powder – true powder, not granulated garlic. After that, I grated a “healthy” amount of Parmesan cheese over top; which baked into a crispy, salty crust that we all loved. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Calzones – 
  • 2 – 15 oz balls of pizza dough
  • 5 oz pepperoni, diced
  • Fresh mozzarella, torn
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste
  • pizza seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • marinara or pizza sauce for dipping

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out your pizza dough as you would a round pizza 12 inches in diameter. Sprinkle your shredded mozzarella on the dough leaving at least an inch of space from the edge. Top with pepperoni and cheese, season as desired. Fold into a half and crimp the edges to seal well. Cut some slits to vent and lightly brush the top with olive oil if desired. Place on a Silpat-lined (or foil) cookie sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Carefully place each calzone on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Deep Dish Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza

I know I have said this of dinner a lot lately, but really – this was just so good! Instead of the recommended 9″ skillet (who can find that size anyway?) I used 9″ cake pans. I loved that two pizzas can go in the oven at a time, whereas with my usual method (bottom of the oven on a pizza stone), I can only bake one pizza at a time. The crust was pillowy, chewy and slightly crisp because of the olive oil. The kids and I enjoy dipping our crust in pizza or marinara sauce (I had some of this – it’s my favorite), and the salad is a mix of organic Romaine, baby spinach and Roma tomatoes and this dressing. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Basic Pizza Dough – adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 1 envelope yeast

Directions:

Add the yeast to the warm water and set aside for 5 minutes.

Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil. Stir the yeast into the water and make sure it’s all dissolved. Add it to the flour mixture. Mix until everything is combined, and knead with a dough machine or by hand for about 8 minutes.

Oil two bowls lightly with olive oil and set aside. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll into balls. Place each ball into the oiled bowls, seam side down, and brush the tops with a little olive oil. Top each bowl with plastic wrap or a clean, dry towel and place the dough in a warm place (I use a turned-off oven). Let rise 2 hours.

Once risen, use the dough or wrap in plastic wrap, then a plastic bag, and freeze or refrigerate.

Chunky Pizza Sauce – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Allow to cook for at least 15 minutes.  Once finished cooking, remove from the heat.  If you prefer a smoother sauce, use a potato masher or immersion blender to break up the chunks of tomato.  Alternatively, simply leave it as is if you prefer a chunkier sauce.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Deep Dish Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza – adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
  • sliced pepperoni, roughly chopped
  • 12 ounces pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded
  • Parmesan, Asiago, Pecorino Romano or other hard Italian cheeses, grated (to taste, optional)
  • olive oil mixed with true garlic powder for painting the crust

Directions

Cook sausage over medium heat until browned, making sure to break the meat up into crumbles.

Heat oven to 400° F. Coat a 9-inch oven-proof skillet or cake pan with 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil. Stretch and press the dough into the pan, covering the bottom and sides. Top the dough with chunky pizza sauce, top with half the mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni and remaining mozzarella. Grate Parmesan, Pecorino Romano and Asiago (optional – I had remnant blocks of these in my fridge) over all. Paint the crust with olive oil/garlic powder mixture and sprinkle dried oregano over top all. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.