We love making our own pizza, but we’d never tried our hand at calzones until recently. We found that where sharing half a pizza is wonderful, eating that same pizza half in the form of your own personal pizza pocket is that much more satisfying!
You can use any vegetables you like for these portable pizzas in place of the ones we’ve used here, especially if you‘re not a mushroom lover (I’d recommend substituting artichokes). Even better, use any cooked vegetables (or meat) that you have on hand, which is the easier and more traditional Italian way.
Another tip for easy preparation is to make the pizza dough in advance and freeze it, so that it is on hand the day of baking (we’ve also found freezing also helps the consistency of the dough). If you plan to serve the calzones with a red sauce, you could make that in advance as well.
- 1/2 pizza dough recipe (2 crusts)
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic
- 6 cups spinach leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried basil (or a handful of chopped fresh basil if in season)
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes (or classic tomato sauce, if using to serve)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Kosher salt
- Classic tomato sauce to serve, if desired
- Prepare the dough using either the stand mixeror food processor methods (you also can knead by hand; follow this video instruction for more). Follow the preparation instructions in the dough recipe if prepared in advance.
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F.
- If serving with classic tomato sauce, make the sauce.
- Chop the mushrooms. Mince 4 cloves garlic. Wash 6 cups spinach leaves.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan, and sauté the mushrooms, 1 tablespoon basil, and 1 pinch kosher salt until soft, around 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup tomatoes or tomato sauce and garlic and stir to combine. Add the spinach leaves and cook down until all the liquid has evaporated. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir to combine with 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and let it rest a few minutes. To stretch the dough, gently press it out on a floured surface into a circle shape. Then drape the dough over both of your knuckles and rotate it around, allowing it to stretch itself to a larger circle, about 6 inches in diameter. If the dough starts to resist stretching, put it down and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes, at which point it will stretch more easily.
- On one half of each dough circle, add 1/4 of the filling mixture, making sure to leave 1 inch around the edge. Fold the other half of the dough over so that the calzone forms a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges together.
- Carefully place the calzones on a well-floured pizza peel or baking sheet. Beat 1 egg together with 1 tablespoon water and brush the egg wash onto the top of the calzones. (Be careful not to drip the egg wash on the peel or baking sheet to avoid sticking when sliding into the oven.)
- Transfer the calzones onto the pizza stone in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then serve with tomato sauce.