Oh. My. Gosh. These are soooo good, I did not want to stop eating them. Do I have any regrets? Yes, I wish I had made more to freeze.
Some calzones can be rather heavy because they are so loaded with filling that includes meat and cheeses, that after eating one, you’re done. These, however, are lighter than that. The filling consists of chopped broccoli, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella used in moderation. A pizza dough makes the outside, holding all that great filling. Served with warm tomato sauce, i.e., spaghetti or pizza sauce, and a side salad, this is a delicious and satisfying meatless meal.
This recipe makes eight calzones that can be frozen before baking, so when you’re in the mood for one–or two–, just remove the quantity you want, and bake them frozen. I made only half the recipe for a quantity of four calzones, and I’m regretting that I didn’t make the whole recipe. It doesn’t take much extra time or effort to make more to freeze, and you’ll be so glad you did. One of these would be great with a bowl of soup, or with a salad for a light meal.
Note: the following recipe calls for frozen, chopped broccoli, but fresh broccoli may also be used. Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam until tender before proceeding with the recipe. The convenience of frozen store-bought pizza dough helps to speed up and simplify making this recipe, as does jarred tomato sauce.
Yield: 8 calzones
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 packages (10 oz.) chopped broccoli, thawed
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 ( 1 pound) packages frozen pizza dough, thawed
- 1 cup ricotta cheese ( can use small curd cottage cheese instead)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, or pizza blend cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- tomato sauce
1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook till soft ( 4-5 minutes). Add broccoli, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook 5-7 minutes till any liquid has evaporated and mixture is hot. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 400*F. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
3. Divide each ball of dough into four ( 4) pieces. On a lightly floured surface stretch each piece out. First to a 3 x 4″ oval, then stretch again to 6 x 8″ oval. Let dough rest as needed to relax before continuing to stretch it. Don’t worry if the ovals are not perfect, they almost never are.
4. Stir cheeses into cooled broccoli mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
5. To assemble: Spread about 1/2 cup broccoli mixture onto half of each dough piece. Leave 1/2-inch border all around. Fold over to form a semi-circle/ half moon. Press edges to seal. Cut two slits in the top of each one.
6. Using a wide spatula or bench knife, transfer the calzones to the baking sheets. Reshape as needed.
7. Bake at 400*F for about 25 minutes, till golden brown. Serve with warm sauce.
To freeze for later use: Proceed through step #5 above, then tightly wrap each calzone in plastic wrap, freeze until firm. Transfer to zip-lock bags; label and date. Freeze up to 2 months. To cook and serve, unwrap and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake without thawing until golden, 35 – 40 minutes.