Tomorrow, Husband and I are jetting off on a very big vacation. For me, vacation means eating, drinking, and eating some more. Husband is a little more taken with hiking and outdoor things.
However. This vacation is my kind of vacation. Destination: London and Paris. In other words, by this time tomorrow, I will be chowing SO MANY baguettes. (OK, to be technical, by this time tomorrow I will be drinking wine courtesy of Virgin Airlines. But I digress).
Of course, we had to practice our eating, so last night, I made these calzones. Just to forewarn: this is quite an endeavor – almost two hours. But this recipe makes so many that unless you’re a member of the Duggar clan (YIKES), you’ll have leftovers, which you can freeze. Which we have, and will eat the second we get off our return flight to DC.
Sausage and Veggie Calzones
- 2 pounds premade pizza dough, brought to room temperature
- olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped and divided in half
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- large handful fresh basil
- 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
- about a pound (4 or so links) hot Italian sausage
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- about half a pre-washed bag of arugula
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add half of the diced onion, cook down a few minutes before adding garlic and tomato paste. Cook down another few minutes and add tomato, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and sugar. Stir together and cook for about ten minutes. Add basil and thyme and keep the sauce warm over low heat.
- As the sauce cooks, prepare your filling. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and the other half of your diced onion. Cook down a few minutes and add bell pepper, salt, pepper and some crushed red pepper (after all, we like it spicy around here). Cook for a few minutes before removing sausage from casings; make sure to break it up in the pan. Cook until the meat is completely brown.
- Divide your (room temp!) dough into eight sections and roll each out on a lightly floured surface – so they’re about 6 inches across and as close to round as they’ll get. Let’s be honest: this is the hardest step. Because my kitchen is tiny, I found it helpful to layer the rolled out rounds on a plate between sheets of parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and assemble the calzones: top each pizza dough round with a layer of sauce, sausage mixture, a sprinkling of mozzarella, and a small pinch of arugula. Fold over and crimp the edges of the calzone together.
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 25 minutes and serve with an additional spoonful of sauce (and some salad, let’s keep it healthy!). If you want to freeze any calzones – pull them out at the 15 minute mark, let them cool completely, and then wrap in aluminum foil before placing in a ziplock bag in your freezer. To reheat, bake the frozen calzones at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
We love our calzones/stromboli around here – the Husband is a pro. But as he carefully admitted last night, “these gave [his calzones] a run for his money, and that money is still running.”
PS: I won’t be posting for the next week or so. There are just TOO MANY baguettes to chow!