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Football Fever

Wed Sep 19, 2007


Roasted Red Pepper Calzone

Anybody can order a pizza when the guys come over for football—and believe me, there are plenty of games where I will, but this early in the season I’m still motivated to make some game time treats. So, after going for an 18-mile bike ride with my boyfriend and father on Sunday, I took quick stock of what I had the fridge and decided to stop by Trader Joe’s to get the fixins’ for quick calzones.

When I first started making calzones in college I would pick up fresh dough rounds from the local pizzeria, but I’ve been making my own pizza dough lately (and will include the recipe here). But with the Patriots game starting at 5 o’clock, I didn’t have time to let homemade dough rise, so I grabbed three rounds of pre-made dough at TJ’s, along with whole milk, low moisture mozzarella cheese, aged provolone, zucchini and a jar of roasted red peppers. Dinner would be a little nod to Nancy Silverton’s new cookbook, A Twist of the Wrist, incorporating quality ingredients that didn’t require much prep. My secret weapon, though, was a half pound of Soppressata from Fra’ Mani, Paul Bertoli’s salumeria in Berkeley, California. A course, hand-chopped salame with just a touch of clove spice and spicy peppercorn, the Soppressata would have the spicy counterpoint to the mild cheeses.

I made a total of three calzone, one with the zucchini and fresh basil, one with the roasted red peppers, red onion and chili flake and the third with the Soppressata. All three had layers of melty mozzarella cheese and the sharp, aged provolone and just a little seasoning to bring out all of the flavors.

Follow these instructions for an easy Sunday Night Football dinner, Monday Night football dinner, or a thank goodness football is only on two nights a week dinner. And for the record, my boyfriend was sure that his friends wouldn’t eat the veggie calzones—and the zucchini and basil was easily the first to be demolished.

Pizza Dough

4 cups flour
2 cups warm water
4 tbsp olive oil (you can also use vegetable oil)
1 packet yeast
1 tsp salt

Mix warm water, oil and yeast together in a large Pyrex measuring cup. In a large bowl, combine the salt and flour. Make a large well in the center and pour the water/yeast mixture in, stirring with a wooden spoon until it is incorporated enough to knead with your hands. When dough is smooth, cover the bowl with a towel and put in the oven (the oven is off) for two hours. After two hours, punch the dough down and recover. Let rise for another hour, at least. When ready, divide dough into for your calzones.

Roll or toss out dough into a rectangular shape, the size of a large cookie sheet. Layer cheese and toppings being careful not to overstuff the calzone, then fold in the sides to seal—roll in long sides until they overlap, then the ends, creating tight seals so the cheese doesn’t ooze out. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 25-35 minutes.

Note: I’ve used all sorts of ingredients to make this dish, which makes it a perfect last-minute meal. Try ricotta cheese and mozzarella with bell peppers, broccoli and onion, or pepperoni. Next round I’m going to attempt one with herbs, fresh roast red peppers and goat cheese.

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One Response to “Football Fever”

  1. Nicole Says:

    YUM! You know I’ve never made calzone and I’m not sure why. I’ve definitely been on a homemade pizza kick though so I guess the next logical step would be to stuff a couple of them 😉

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