I made a big pot of broccoli rabe stewed with onions. My intention was have it with some israeli cous cous for dinner. But when I saw how much I had made, I decided to throw together some Broccoli Rabe Calzones as well, and throw them in the freezer for later. It’s really easy to make calzones, especially if you buy pre-made dough. Sometimes I make my own pizza dough but most times I just pick it up at Trader Joes. Making pizza dough is a project that I don’t always have time for, plus it’s only .99 cents at Trader Joes. Can’t go wrong there.
I used one pre-made pizza dough to make 4-5 inch’ish calzones. This is a good size for a single serving and easily be a quick lunch or week night dinner. You can vary the ingredients as you like, just be sure that your veggies are cooked and drained before adding them to the dough, otherwise you’ll have a mess. It’s a great way to use leftovers. However, I do urge you to make this combination too. The creamy sweetness of the Ricotta with bitterness of the greens is incredible. Add to that the tangy charred pan roasted tomatoes and it’s just heavenly.
You’ll want to be sure to take your pizza dough out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before your ready to work with it. This will allow it to get room temperature, which will make it much more pliable, stretchable and easy to work with. Also, it may seem like not enough dough for four calzones, but believe me, it is. The trick is stretching dough consistently throughout. You could also just make two larger calzones though.
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 pre-made pizza dough
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3 cups stewed broccoli rabe, drained (recipe below)
- 12 pan roasted grape tomatoes
Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a small skillet, preferably a well seasoned cast iron, heat a light drizzle of vegetable oil over high heat. Just before it reaches it’s smoking point lower the heat to medium and add tomatoes. Stirring often, cook tomatoes until they begin to char and wrinkle. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using the flour, dust counter-top or work space. Place the pizza dough on the floured surface, lightly coating each side. Then cut the dough into four even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, gently begin to stretch the dough, starting at the edges and working your way towards the center. It’s important to be gentle and patient during this step, otherwise you’ll tear your dough. If you have long fingernails, use your knuckles instead of your finger tips (fingers curled under). Stretch the dough into a triangular or ovalish shape (this will be the natural shape due the shape of the cut dough) about 8 inches by 6 inches or so. Place on floured work surface. If, during the stretching process, your dough feels a little sticky and stubborn, add a bit of flour to the side your working with and keep going. Repeat this process with the remaining three pieces of dough.
Once you have all four pieces of dough stretched, add about 2 tbsps. of shredded mozzarella cheese to half of each one. Add about 4 tbsps. of ricotta cheese on top of the mozzarella. Then add about 3/4 cup of stewed broccoli rabe, 3pan roasted tomatoes and another 2 tbsps. of shredded mozzarella.
Once you’ve added all of the filling, it’s time to close them up. This is another step that takes gentle patience. Gently pull the side of the dough that is not filled up over the side that is filled.
Stretch the dough as necessary to insure all of the edges from one side meet edges from the other side. Once you are at this point, fold the edge of the dough over about a quarter of an inch and crimp with your fingers, ensuring that all edges are sealed well. Carefully pick up each calzone by gradually moving your hand underneath one side, and place on the cookie sheet. Once all four calzones are on the cookie sheet, cut three slits in each one as a vent.
*If you have a pizza stone, cut the three slits before removing from the work-surface and placing on the pizza stone.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.