Red Pepper & Sausage Calzone

Red Pepper & Sausage Calzone
December 31, 2006
Calzones are a staple Italian lunch, often served by street vendors because they are easy to carry and eat. Known to some as a stuffed pizza, these delicious pies offer a wide variety of ingredient options, and an excellent sideline to the more traditional pizza. 
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 F to 115 F)
1  envelope dry yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
4  cups (about) flour

1 large red bell pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 pounds red onions, sliced
4 sweet or spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
3 cups (packed) coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (about 12 ounces)
12 ounces ricotta cheese
4 tsp dried oregano
Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into large bowl. Stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Mix in oil and salt. Add 3 3/4 cups flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until blended. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, sprinkling with more flour if sticky, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in large, oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, char bell pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and slice pepper. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add red onions; sauté until brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
Sauté sausage in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until cooked through, breaking into 1/2-inch pieces with spoon, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Mix both cheeses and oregano in bowl, season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Punch dough down. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide into 4 equal portions; shape each into ball.

Roll out dough balls on lightly floured surface to 9-inch rounds. Spread 1/3 cup cheese mixture over half of each round, leaving 3/4-inch border.

Cover cheese on each with a 1/4 of the onions, 1/3 cup cheese mixture, a 1/4 of the sausage, 1/3 cup cheese mixture, then a 1/4 of the bell peppers. Fold plain dough halves over filling, forming half circles. Pinch edges of dough firmly together to seal.

Pierce tops in several places with small knife. Bake calzones 15 minutes, depending on oven.

Reverse/turn midway through and bake until tops of calzones are golden brown.

Makes 4.

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