I had dough left over from the Sicilian Semolina bread I made last week and escarole left over from when I made soup the other day. Both were sitting idle in my fridge for days until I was inspired — combine the two leftovers and make calzone, those delicious bread turnovers with a savory filling.
This is a version of Wimpy Skippy from Caserta Pizzeria on Providence’s Federal Hill Italian-American neighborhood. They make it with spinach sauteed with garlic, pepperoni and mozzarella. I kicked it up a notch or two.
If you don’t have any dough in your refrigerator and you’re making the calzone from scratch use either my pizza dough recipe that takes about 90 minutes to make or the semolina bread dough recipe that takes about 2 and a half hours to make. (The prep time includes the time it takes the dough to rise. Mixing everything together takes about 15 minutes for both.) You can make the dough in advance and keep it in the fridge. Just let it sit out to come to room temperature before making the calzone.
Either recipe works well. The semolina dough turns a pale yellow from the durum wheat flour.
Roast your favorite Italian sausage in a 425 degree oven, turning them once, until they are browned, about 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Slice the sausage into 1 inch thick discs. Set aside.
While the sausage is roasting make the dough.
Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Form each into a ball.
Stretch each ball into a flat round about 10 inches in diameter. Set the rounds aside covered with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel so they don’t form a dry crust.
Turn your oven up to its highest setting. Mine goes to 550 degrees.
Place the dough rounds on a well-floured work surface. Scatter about 4 tablespoons of sauteed escarole on the bottom half of the dough round, leaving a half inch border at the edge. You want a layer of escarole about an inch and a half high. (The sauteed escarole recipe excerpted from my free Italian Vegetable eCookbook is below.)
Top the escarole with 6 sausage slices. Use enough so that you get some sausage in every bite.
Cover the the sausage and escarole with slices of fresh mozzarella.
Fold the top half of the calzone over the bottom half with the filling to form the turnover-shaped calzone. Line up the edges and press down with you finger to seal the dough tightly so that none of the filling leaks while baking.
Brush the calzone lightly with EVOO.
Place the calzone on a well-floured pizza peel and at a 20 degree angle slide them from the peel onto the baking stone. (If you don’t have a baking stone put the calzone on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf of your oven.)
You may have to turn the calzone once if they are not baking evenly.
Bake until the calzone are golden brown about 10 minutes.
Let them cool a bit before serving.
Here’s the sauteed escarole recipe excerpted from my free Italian Vegetable eBook.