The best thing about a mutant calzone is that it still tastes like a calzone

I lust after calzones on a rather regular basis. I consider them a comfort food staple. And, after all, cheese is one of the four food groups. Err, I mean, one of those categories in the food pyramid. Err, rather, it’s one of those slices on that pseudo pie chart with the person hustling up the stairs. Annd, dating myself here!

partially eaten calzone

So, I needed to first prepare the dough. I totally was lazy and bought a packet of pizza dough mix from the grocery store.

balls of dough

Pretty easy, I just followed the directions on the box, mixing the dough with water and letting rise for a bit. I initially had visions of making extra calzones to freeze, but a single packet o’ pizza crust wasn’t gonna cut it – I felt lucky that there was enough to make 2 calzones.

So, while the dough was sitting in two balls doing dough-rising things, I got the sauce together.

calzone ingredients

That’s a vague representation of all of the ingredients that came together to make these bad boys. For the sauce, I started with a base of tomato paste from a teeny 50 cent can. I wanted something vaguely resembling homemade sauce, but didn’t really have the patience to fully make homemade sauce, so I figured I’d just use the paste as a base and add crap to it.

boiled tomatoes

So I had a few tomatoes, needed to get the skin off of them for saucy purposes. Boiling tomatoes is the best thing ever if you wanna skin those suckers. They boil for a few minutes and that skin gets super loose, rinse the tomatoes in cold water and slide the skin right on off. So, after that I tossed the tomatoes in a blender, along with the tomato paste, some onion, olive oil, dash of vinegar, bit of sugar, salt, pepper, and a bunch of various Italian herbs.

Oh, and garlic.

garlic

The little one is growing! I totally set that one aside to stick it in a pot and grow a garlic tree or whatever.

Anyhow, I blended up everything in a blender, dumped into a pot, and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes or so until it looked nice and marinara-ey and saucelike.

marinara sauce

So next, the cheese. I had some ricotta I had frozen from the last time I made cheese, so I dumped some of that in a bowl, along with a bag of shredded mozzarella and grated romano, and mixed it all together.

ricotta plus other cheeses

So I went ahead and squashed down a ball of dough onto a pan with my hands. Squished it out until reasonably wide and round, and put down sauce.

calzone with sauce

After snouting around in the fridge for a bit, I settled on pepperoni, spinach, and olives for my calzone ingredients. On a related note, green olives in a calzone are freaking amazing. Though, green olives are freaking amazing in general.

calzone wrapped

So yeah, the dough. It’s been many moons since I’ve made calzones, and for some godawful reason I didn’t think it would be necessary to grease the pan. Well, that dough really liked sticking to that pan. I did manage to get the ingredients more or less successfully covered with the dough, but the end result was…less pretty than I’d hoped. Chris commented that the calzone looked like a Binding of Isaac monster, in fact.

So, yeah, decided to oil the pan for Chris’s calzone. I also gave it a better base layer by doing a layer of pepperoni to start.

pepperoni

After that, some sauce, then some cheese, more pepperoni, and more cheese. Wrapped it up, and this one went much more smoothly. End result looked much nicer, too.

calzone wrapped

So I baked these guys for about 35 minutes or so, until they were nice and burbley.

lumpy baked calzone

So yeah, this one isn’t exactly a pristine looking calzone. Tasted pretty good though. Did I mention that olives are apparently delightful in a calzone? I might add a bit more mozzarella next time, though.

baked with pepperoni

And this one actually looked like a real calzone, which was delightful.

But yeah, apparently when making calzones, it’s important to lubricate. Also, having enough dough. I didn’t like having to stretch the dough to fit the pieces, would definitely rather err on the side of too much dough rather than too little dough!

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