Sausage & Peppers or Calzoni?

We eat sausage & peppers quite often.  We both love sausages, and this is a delicious, easy way to prepare them.  Sausage & Peppers  Like with most of my meals, there are always leftovers when I prepare sausage & peppers.  As you all know, The Queen of Leftovers and I are very close and are in contact with each other almost daily.  So rather than eating the leftover sausage & peppers as is, I decided to turn them into calzoni, plural for calzone.

One night this was for dinner.

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A couple of days later, we had this for dinner.   Same basic ingredients, just made differently.  Both were delicious.  Since I was pressed for time, I told Larry he could pick the vegetables and cook them.  He chose asparagus.  I served it with a bold red blend.

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A calzone is very close cousin to pizza.  Both were created in Naples, Italy in the 18th century.  The word calzone translates to mean pant or trouser leg, since calzoni, the plural for calzone, was known as the “walk around pizza”.  It was originally pizza that was folded over and then it was baked as a separate individual pizza turnover later, as it is done today.

I tried a new recipe for the dough, which I really like.  It will be my new pizza or calzone dough from now on.  My old one is very good too, but this one is a little lighter, and I like it better.

Calzone or Pizza Dough

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1 package or 2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the bowl and to rub over the dough

2 1/2-3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

 

Mix the yeast and the water together and let stand for about 5 or so minutes, or until it becomes frothy.

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Mix 2 1/2 cups of the flour and salt together thoroughly.

Add the olive oil to the water and yeast mixture, mix well, then add the flour and salt mixture.  Start kneading everything together by hand, then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead until the dough forms into a soft ball.  Rub olive oil all around the bowl and around the dough, put the dough back into the bowl, then cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

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While the dough is rising, make your filling.  Since my sausage and peppers were already cooked, I just cut the sausage into small little pieces, then I mixed everything together with marinara sauce.  I admit, I cheat on my tomato sauces.  My favorite sauce is Prego, and then I doctor up, to make it more my own.  Yes, I can easily make my own sauce, but why when there are so many good ones already out there, especially when time is of the essence.  I love big, bold flavors, so I always add more garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram and sage to my sauce to really make the flavors pop out and come alive.  But this is just me.  Make it how you like.

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Preheat the over to 350* F or 180* C

When the sough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it into 4 equal portions.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4 ” or less depending on how thick you like your dough, then fill with the cheese and the filling.  I used Mozzarella cheese, but any light cheese will be fine.  You can even use ricotta if you like, or a combination of both Mozzarella and ricotta.  Leave some room all around so you can fold your dough over the filling and pinch it together.

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Once the calzoni are filled, roll the edges over and pinch them together tightly.  Then score the calzoni with a sharp knife and brush an egg wash over them and place them in the oven.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until they are golden brown.

IMG_9495Once the calzoni are done, serve them up.  I usually serve a little extra marinara sauce on the side as a dipping sauce.   It was a nice hearty, comforting meal for a cool, crisp evening.  Mangia!!!!

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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