pizza pie! how to make a tasty calzone.

Every Friday night is pizza night at my house. I make the dough in the morning and it rises patiently on my counter top while I work. My husband gets home first, men’s health so he preheats the oven and the pizza stone and gives the dough a bit of a knead for it’s second rising (um, try it’s not as dramatic as it sounds).

Then we eat our pizza in front of the TV with ice-cold I.P.A. in our frosty, fancy monogrammed beer mugs. After dinner, I usually fall asleep on the couch before 10, all the while pretending that I’m still awake while Tom tries to switch the channel to a movie I’d never in a million years watch with him. It’s a nice tradition.

A few months ago, I decided it was time to break tradition and branch out into the world of calzones. I stuffed them with ricotta, Parmesan, basil and toasted pine nuts. Having faced previous disasters with dumplings, raviolis and empanadas, I was very careful not to over-stuff. I waited patiently while the baked. Then I finally took a big bite, expecting a beautiful, creamy filling surrounded by a thin, crisp crust. Wrong. All I got was bread. And the filling? I could barely taste it. So bland.

The moral of the story is this: Fill the crap out of your calzone. And fill it with big, bold flavors. None of this subtle ricotta and toasted pine nuts. So I tried again with Portuguese Chourico (duh), sun-dried tomatoes, onions, arugula and semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese. Now that was a calzone worth posting. Spicy, rich, meaty and you could definitely taste the filling. It’s a calzone mighty enough to break tradition and delicious enough to make again and again.