Thereís something extra-special about a hand-held pie. (Maybe itís that you donít have to share.) This recipe for calzones highlights an array of Italian flavors: garlic and tomatoes, garden-fresh spinach and fennel, and a trio of Organic Valleyís best Italian cheeses. It yields four well-packed turnovers with a soft crust. (You could also make six or eight smaller calzones instead.) If you happen to have a baking stone and wooden paddle, great. Otherwise, a good, heavy duty baking sheet will work, also.
1. To make filling: Soak tomatoes in a little hot water for 20 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet; add chopped fennel, onions, and garlic. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes, stirring often. Drain the tomato-water into skillet, raise heat and boil until liquid is syrupy. Add spinach and chopped fennel leaves; cook, stirring often, until liquid is evaporated. Cool the mixture. Chop the drained tomatoes. Stir tomatoes, provolone, ricotta and Parmesan into the spinach mixture. Season with pepper to taste.
2. To fill calzones: Heat oven to 450 degrees (with baking stone inside, if using.) Sprinkle a wooden pizza paddle with cornmeal or grease a large baking sheet. Combine crust mix, basil, and 1 cup very warm water; beat 1/2 minute. Cover bowl; let stand on stovetop 5 minutes. Turn dough onto floured surface, roll it lightly in the flour; divide into 4 balls. Roll each ball into a 7-inch circle, place a quarter of the filling in center, and brush egg-water mixture around edges. Fold dough over filling; crimp or roll edges to form a tight seal.
3. To bake: Place calzones on paddle or baking sheet; brush tops with egg mixture. (If using baking stone, slide calzones from paddle to hot stone.) Bake 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and then serve them up.
Copyright by Terese Allen