As I clean the kitchen on Saturdays, one of my tasks is to check the refrigerator to see what leftovers are still lingering from the week’s meals. This weekend I found three items that looked like they would work well together—meatballs, pizza dough and roasted vegetables.
I’ve been making olive oil pizza dough from the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for several years. I often add whole wheat flour to dough but other than that, I stick with their recipe. I’ve long wanted to try making my own calzone, so this looked like the perfect opportunity.
My first calzone experience was at the Festival of San Gennaro in New York’s Little Italy when I lived in the city. The calzone is a great walking sandwich for a festival since it’s a substantial, Italian turnover which typically has cheese or meat inside. I remember the turnover dough being so hearty that I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish it.
I wanted to roll my dough thinner than what I had eaten so it wouldn’t be so carb-heavy. I rolled it out to approximately 8” by 10”.
Next, I spread a thin layer of tomato paste on the dough and topped it with thinly sliced garlic and a healthy sprinkling of shredded Swiss cheese. Then I cut the three leftover meatballs in two and placed them in the center of half of the dough. The roasted butternut squash and beets came next. I placed them on both sides of the meatballs. Don’t over stuff the calzone.
You’re almost finished. Top the meatballs and vegetables with lots more shredded cheese.
The final step is to lightly moisten the edges of the dough. Fold one half over the meatball filling and lightly pinched the edges together. I finished mine with a ravioli roller then brushed on a little olive oil.
At this point, I sprinkled cornmeal onto a pizza peel, put the calzone on top of the cornmeal and put the pizza peel on top of the oven. As the oven and pizza stone inside warmed to 450 degrees, it gave the dough time to rest and rise a little. Note: if you don’t have a pizza peel, try using the bottom side of a cookie sheet.
As the oven was ready, I slid the calzone onto the pizza stone and cooked for 12 minutes. When it was browned, I removed it.
I cut into it and could see it would be delicious. I was right!
How are you being creative with leftovers this week?