Making spinach pies today is a culinary bridge from the States to my upcoming temporary home in Naples.
The filling is inspired by the “Wimpy Skippy,” a crowd-pleaser from Caserta Pizzeria on Providence’s Federal Hill, an Italian-American bastion.
I’ll find variations of spinach pies, called calzone in Italy, with all kinds of fillings when I’m in Naples. Neapolitans often fry calzone but I’m baking mine instead.
If you don’t want to make your own pizza dough, buy some at the market. Making the filling and the assembly are super easy.
Watch my pizza dough recipe to see how I make one pound of dough that will make 4 big calzone.
The golden tender crust has a nutty flavor. Garlic scents the sauteed spinach filling. Oozing mozzarella tamps down the heat from the pepperoni. A meal in a tidy envelope.
I hope my next post will be one of the 2 episodes we shot recently in North Beach. I’m shooting video in Roma next week with my friend Luca and his crew. We’ll post those episodes too.
- Spinach Stuffing
- 4 cups cooked spinach, chopped
- ⅓ cup black olives, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 16 pepperoni slices
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Set your oven to its highest setting. (Mine goes to 550 degrees.)
- Put a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and garlic.
- Heat the oil and cook the garlic until it just starts to pick up some color.
- Add the black olives and stir well.
- Add the spinach and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients well.
- Cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
- If your using my pizza dough recipe, cut the dough into 4 pieces.
- On a well-floured board roll out the 4 dough pieces into thin rounds, about 10 inches in diameter. Or, form the rounds using your hands to stretch the dough.
- Starting in the middle, but ¼ of the spinach stuffing on the dough and spread it towards the rim leaving one inch border without the stuffing.
- Top the stuffing with 4 pepperoni slices and cover with sliced mozzarella.
- Fold the top half of the dough over the stuffing to form a turnover shape.
- Pinch the dough around the edge with your fingers to tightly seal the spinach pie.
- Using a pizza peel, slide each spinach pie on a pizza stone and bake until the dough is golden on top, about 8-10 minutes.
- (You can bake the pies on a cookie sheet brushed with olive oil if you like.)
- Take the spinach pies out of the oven and cool for a minute or two on a wired rack.
- Serve the spinach pies whole or cut in half.
- Serve immediately or at room temperature.
- (You can make the spinach pies ahead an heat them in a 375 degree oven for about 3 minutes.)