Sausage and Nettles Calzones

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Hand-held pizza turnovers filled with spiced sausage, wild greens and Italian cheese--talk about good “stuff”!

The filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the turnovers. The packaged dough mix yields a soft, easy-to-work-with dough; use extra flour on the counter and your fingers to deal with any stickiness. And by all means if you have a baking stone, cook the calzones on it; it will give crustier results than a regular baking sheet.

The recipe is easily doubled for a crowd. You can serve these with heated pizza sauce or marinara sauce, but they are also excellent as is.


  • 12 cup dried tomatoes
  • 6 ounces Organic Valley Seasoned Pork Sausage (1/2 package)
  • 12 cup chopped onion
  • 12 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 12 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 - 4 cups chopped, loosely packed nettle leaves (or spinach leaves)
  • 4 ounces Organic Valley Provolone Cheese, finely diced (1/2 package)
  • 23 cup Organic Valley Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cornmeal (optional)
  • 12 pizza crust mix
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 Organic Valley Egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon water


To make filling: Place dried tomatoes in a heat-proof bowl or jar and pour 1/2 cup hot water over them. Press tomatoes into the liquid and let stand until softened, 10-20 minutes. Remove tomatoes, squeezing out excess liquid; chop and reserve them. Reserve the liquid, too.

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high flame. Add the sausage and brown it, stirring to break it up as meat cooks. Add onions, garlic and fennel seeds. Cook over medium-low heat 10 minutes, stirring often. Add tomato-water, raise heat and cook until liquid is almost gone. Stir in nettles; and cook until they’re wilted, 2-4 minutes. Stir in chopped tomatoes. Cool mixture to room temperature. Stir in both kinds of cheese. Season with pepper to taste.

To assemble calzones: Heat oven to 450 degrees, with baking stone inside, if you’re using one. (Grease a large baking sheet if you’re using that instead, or line it parchment paper.) Combine both boxes of crust mix, oregano and 1 cup very warm water in a medium bowl; beat 30 seconds. Cover bowl; let stand on stove top 10 minutes.

Turn dough onto floured surface, roll it lightly in the flour and knead briefly. Divide into six portions and roll each one into a ball. Holding one ball in your hands at a time, gently stretch each one into a 6-inch circle. Divide filling among the rounds. Brush egg mixture around edges. Carefully fold dough over filling and roll up edges to form a seal. Brush tops with egg mixture.

To bake: If you’re using a baking stone, sprinkle it with cornmeal and use a large spatula or dough scraper to transfer calzones one at a time to the stone. (Or, place calzones on baking sheet.) Bake calzones until golden brown all over, 25-30 minutes.

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