Friday, September 10, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Calzones

Calzones are such a fun dinner and are easy to personalize for the kids and picky husband, I wonder why I don't make them more often? This recipe is from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian and starts with his basic pizza crust recipe...

Mark Bittman's Pizza Dough

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 to 1¼ cups water
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

1 Combine the yeast, flour, and 2 teaspoons salt in the container of a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the 2 tablespoons of oil through the feed tube.

2 Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.)

3 Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Grease a bowl with the remaining olive oil, and place the dough, in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise in warm; draft-free area until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. You can, cut this rising time short if you are in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.

4 Proceed with calzone recipe, or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month. Defrost in a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

* I made this dough in my bread machine on dough cycle and it worked perfectly, just follow your manufacturers directions for the wet and dry ingredients and you should be fine.

Mark's recipe for calzones suggests spinach as a filling with the ricotta but leaves the options open, and suggests using pizza toppings to mix with the ricotta as a calzone filling. I thought roasted peppers would be a nice combo with the ricotta and just happened to have some peppers on hand.

I like to roast the peppers in the oven and use the broiler method, it's quick and easy but you do need to stay by the oven and babysit the peppers because they can get overdone quickly. You want them blackened and charred and looking deflated.

Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Calzone

  • 1 recipe pizza dough -- above -- or use your own favorite dough recipe
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

I found that Mark's dough recipe made 3 very large calzones, you could easily make 4.

Shape dough into 3 or 4 circles, about 8 inches each, by rolling or patting the dough down.

Combine the cheeses, peppers, and salt and mix well.

Fill calzones by making a mound of filling on one side...

and then bring up the other side over and seal shut with your fingers or using the tines of a fork.

I like to sprinkle the tops with some Italian herb blend. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 350 on a baking stone (remember stone should be preheated in your oven) or sheet. *I think it is very difficult to move a calzone to a stone or sheet so I would say make the calzone right on the baking sheet. I used my pizza screen sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, which has been a lifesaver when it comes to moving pizzas to bake on the pizza stone. You just bake the calzones right on the screen on top of the stone and they come out perfectly.

These were great served with some homemade pizza sauce. They had a very mild flavor but they were really good, I just think they need maybe some roasted garlic mixed into that ricotta mixture, and maybe some red pepper flakes. Spice them up to your liking.

The theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is 'Damn, that's Sexy' and I know you're probably thinking, calzones? Sexy? Well, I think they are sweet sexy in a way, right? Made for sharing, but only for two, a little rustic, just the two of you in an Italian villa with a wood fired stove having fun making dinner together, having a glass of wine...hmm? I know I'd have fun with it!

I'm submitting this post to YeastSpotting which I haven't participated in for way too long, go check out all of the gorgeous baked goods there :)


Heather S-G said...

I totally see the connection ;)! And they sound soooo tasty. Love the sound of that filling. Delicious!

Flourchild said...

I love Calzones..these look incredible! Thanks for the recipe!!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Cheesy and good, rustic too--it works as sexy for me! Nice to see you at IHCC this week. ;-)

Anonymous said...

These look fantastic! I don't make calzones at home often, but my favorite one at a local pizza shop has roasted red peppers, garlic, spinach, and sriracha chile sauce. Yum! Great tip about using the pizza screen, by the way. I have a pizza stone but never much look using it; I'll definitely look for something like what you have!

Deeba PAB said...

Love the very idea. Thank you for sharing this. I have to make thees soon!

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

I am hungry now. That cheesy filling has gotten to me. This is a wonderful recipe.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

These look wonderful - and definitely says sexy to me!

NKP said...

Mmm, I definitely have to make these! They look wonderful, I love the peppery goodness.
Anything Italian is automatically sexy in my book. ☺

Debbie said...

I love rustic! Rustic is very sexy, as is anything Italian. They look great.

Kim said...

Making calzones is such a fun idea! I love how customizable they are for families. Yes, calzones are very rustic and sexy...perfect for sharing:)

Deeba PAB said...

Just had them for lunch, and I have to say 'they were excellent'! The roasted peppers in there added great depth of flavours, and I added some finely chopped button mushrooms sautéed in EVOO too. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! The kids will be back from school soon, and will love you for this! Cheers!!

Paula said...

this looks so delicious!

have a nice time!

superman said...

This looks so amazing! And they sound so delicious too..

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mj said...

These looks really amazing! I love your idea! Its so great!

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