since the beau is leaving for several weeks on the road, i made him a farewell meal that i knew he would love: homemade calzones. suprisingly easy and soooo yummy. he was tres impressed. i believe the exact words were, "i didn't know you could make these at home", like the secrets of calzones weren't available to amateurs. he's a funny one. anyhoo, these were inspired by a giada recipe. here's my take:
sausage and spinach calzones
serves 2-41 tablespoon olive oil
16 oz. turkey sausage
red pepper flakes and italian seasoning, to taste
2 cups fresh baby spinach
8 oz. neufchatel cheese, softened
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 13-16 oz. ball pizza dough
1 egg, beaten
2 cups marinara sauce
preheat the oven to 450.
heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized, heavy skillet. add the sausage, red pepper flakes, and italian seasoning and cook until crumbled and golden, about 5 minutes. add half of the spinach and cook until wilted. turn off the heat and let cool about 10 minutes. add the cream cheese, 1/3 cup parmesan, pepper and remaining spinach and stir to combine. set aside.
divide the dough into two equal portions. dust the work surface with cornmeal and roll out each half into approximately 10-inch rounds. tranfser the dough to a heavy baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.
put the cheese mixture on 1 side of each of the dough rounds leaving a 1-inch border. using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. fold the unfilled side of the dough over the filling and using the tines of a fork, press the edges of the dough together to seal. brush the tops of the calzones with the egg wash and sprinkle with remaining parmesan. using a paring knife, cut a 1/2-inch wide slit in the top layer of the dough. bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. cut the calzones into slices and serve with warm marinara sauce.
i served this with romaine leaves and homemade caesar dressing. easy peasy!