Friday, August 21, 2009

"Naked" Calzone, AKA the sausage, pepper, spinach & tomato skillet

My husband loves pizza. Even before the diet, I could really do without it, but now that I can't have it I occasionally crave it. Does you ever have that problem? A food you don't really care for, but once you can't have it, you NEED it?

Last week I really wanted to impress Scott. I don't know why really. Maybe it's because I was gone for 2 months and didn't cook a thing or maybe it's just because I love him and I want him to think I'm cool. So in addition to the southwestern eggrolls in the previous post, I decided to make a calzone for him. Since I can't eat the dough part, I decided to cheat and purchase the pizza dough. Luckily, Price Chopper (my closest grocery store) has handmade dough available in their bakery section! It's right next to the filled cannolis, so watch out! But they even have a whole wheat option. Therefore, I just bought a ball of whole wheat pizza dough there. You are welcome to make your own from scratch if you feel like it. I've done it before, and it's not difficult, just a little more time consuming for a weeknight dinner that I wanted it to be.

After throwing Scott's full calzone into the oven, I simply made myself a delicious salad and plated up some of the filling for myself and topped it with a sprinkle of part skim mozzarella and parmesan. It really knocked out my pizza craving because the spicy, tomatoey, gooeyness was there without the carby crust.

The great thing about this recipe is you don't need to follow it!! Because of mine and Scott's affinity for sausage, that's what I used for a stuffing. And onions with red and yellow bell peppers just go well with that in my mind. However, you could use hamburger, pepperoni, grilled chicken, mushrooms, black olives, and on and on! The principle is the same. Follow the step by step in the recipe for any ingredient you choose to include!

Calzone (Naked and Fully Clothed varieties)
  • premade, "raw" pizza dough (meaning, not already rolled out and baked into a crust); optional
  • low fat Italian sausage (or any other meat you want. Or not)
  • red & yellow bell peppers, diced (or any other veggie. Think sauteed mushrooms, sliced black olives, green peppers-- anything you'd want on a regular pizza)
  • onion, diced
  • fresh spinach (because you need to sneak in some greens... I promise you don't taste it)
  • about 1 cup pizza sauce (I use Ragu from jar. you can use more or less sauce depending on how you like it)
  • cooking spray
** Preheat oven (and pizza stone if you have it, or cookie sheet) to 500°
1. Brown sausage in a very small amount of cooking spray over medium-high heat until fully cooked. You will need to cook any meat that you put into the calzone before mixing it with other things. Remove meat from skillet after done and set aside.
2. Add another spritz of cooking spray to your pan. Add in any veggies you want, still over medium high heat. Note that onions and bell peppers will need more time to cook than mushrooms. So add the more hardy veggies first, and then after a few minutes, add in the softer ones.
3. Add sausage back to skillet. Spoon pizza sauce over meat and vegetables. Reduce heat to medium low. Allow all ingredients to heat up.
4. Meanwhile, divide dough (each ball of dough will make at least 2 very large calzones, 4 medium ones).
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to around a 1/8 inch thick, 12 inch in diameter circle.
6. Once filling is well heated, add a good handful of fresh spinach leaves. Stir until wilted and incorporated.
7. Evenly divide filling from skillet onto half of dough. Be sure to set aside filling for yourself if you're not wrapping it!!
8. Sprinkle filling with mozzarella or parmesan or both.
9. Fold empty side of dough over and crimp along the edges to seal as best as possible.
10. Using a large floured spatula, transfer calzones to pizza stone (or preheated cookie sheet).
11. Bake until dough is puffed and golden, 10-15 minutes.

Carb options
calzone dough.


Scott Salsman said...

It was quite the awesome calzone, too! I never had a better one, ever.

And I told Tara, it's not "naked calzone", it's calzone guts!

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

Wow. That looks great. I may just give it a shot.

After reading two of your blog posts and browsing your Tasty Kitchen profile, I've decided that our cooking techniques are similar. I throw together what I think would taste good or try to recreate something I've had somewhere else. More often than not, it turns out great.

Also, War Eagle!

Tara said...

War Eagle, Kari!
I hope you do try the recipe and like it. I bet it would be great for your kids! They can pick their own filling and just go for it!

Thanks for adding me on Tasty Kitchen and checking out my blog! I hope you find plenty of things you'll enjoy!