Ricotta & Sausage Calzones

calzone

This is the second time I’ve posted a calzone recipe here on A to Z.

My family voted unanimously that they were better this time around. You’re gonna love ’em!

You can certainly make your own pizza dough to stick the filling in, but perhaps you’d rather do what I did for this calzone dinner. Store-bought pie crust. A little shortcut is just as yummy.

It will save you a lot of stress without opting for pizza pockets in the freezer aisle.

Here’s everything you’ll need to make the calzones.

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You’ll probably also want marinara and parmesan cheese for serving these.

Did I say probably?

Start with the filling.

You can make it ahead of time. Adding to your stress-free evening! I’m all for stress-free.

Chop up some onion.

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Heat a saute pan up and add some olive oil…

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And butter…

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Then those onions you chopped.

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Season it up with salt…

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Freshly ground black pepper…

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And some roughly chopped fresh thyme…

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The chopping is not really for size here… the thyme leaves are already nice and small. Chopping them releases their flavor a bit.

I’m all for adding flavor.

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Transfer the onions to a small bowl and let them cool.

Now for the sausage. Same pan. Less dishes.

I’m all for less dishes.

Add a little more olive oil to the pan and then the Italian sausage.

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Break it up with whatever tool you like best. My weapon of choice is a potato masher for this job.

Let the sausage sit a couple minutes to get nice and browned before tossing it.

Season it up with salt & pepper.

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Mmmmm. Sizzling, caramelized sausage. Music to my ears. And tummy.

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Oh heavens…

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YUM.

Transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to drain a bit and cool.

Now for the star ingredient: RICOTTA.

Add ricotta to a food processor.

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A bit of sugar… (trust me)

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The cooled, onion mixture.

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I could eat this with a spoon.

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Some shredded mozzarella cheese.

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Now pulse and then blend on HIGH for 30 seconds or so. Scrape the sides. Pulse again.

Perfect.

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Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

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Then add in that glorious sausage.

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Mix her up!

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Or mix him up, if you prefer.

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Be sure to give it a taste to check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.

And that’s the filling!

You can even make it with one hand if you’re determined to.

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See?

All that with my right hand only.

Well, almost. I did put him down once or twice.

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It’s hard to do though ’cause he’s such a good helper. And so darn CUTE!

Always giving his mama coos of approval.

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Oh my. I love this little guy!

Okay, back to the cooking portion of the post.

Stick that fabulous filling in the fridge until you need it.

Did I mention that I’m all for making things ahead?

Well, I am.

When you’re ready to serve up your meal, get going on the crust.

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Unroll it from the package. Straight out of the fridge.

Find a round bowl or cookie cutter that has a diameter of about 4 inches.

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Cut out three circles from the dough. Don’t try to get four.

Just trust me on this one.

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Then ball up the excess dough and roll it out to roughly the same thickness as your other circles.

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Then cut out one more circle.

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Repeat this process with the other pie crust that came in your package, giving you 8 circles total.

You can even get a 9th circle with the small amount of extra dough you’ll have from the two pie crusts.

You’ll need to portion your filling a bit more sparingly but you CAN get 9 mini calzones from this recipe!

Dollop 2-3 TBSP of filling into the center of each dough circle. Not an exact science here.

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Beat an egg in a small bowl or ramekin. Then splash in a TBSP of water.

Use the egg wash to brush all around the edges of each dough circle. This will help the calzone to seal.

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Fold each calzone over and press the dough together gently with your fingers.

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Seal the deal with a fork.

You want to ensure that none of that decadent filling sneaks out during baking!

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Now transfer all the calzones to one or two large baking sheets that you’ve lined with parchment paper.

Or just grease the baking sheets so the calzones won’t stick!

Brush the tops of all the calzones with a light coat of the egg wash.

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Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt for flavor!

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Time to BAKE! About 15 minutes and you’re golden!

As are the calzones. Golden brown, that is.

While you’re waiting for the calzones to bake, get your toppings ready.

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Chop up some fresh, flat-leaf parsley.

Heat some store-bought marinara and put it in ramekins for dipping.

Finely grate some good Parmesan.

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It’s EATIN’ time!

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Holy cow.

Store-bought wonders. I’m all for ’em.

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Here’s your nifty printable RECIPE.

And now, one last thing that I’m “all for”.

DIGGING IN!

love, jenna

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One thought on “Ricotta & Sausage Calzones

  1. Pingback: Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting | Apples to Ziti

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