Spinach Mushroom Calzones

Last night’s storm of thunder, lightening, snow and hail had me craving something warm and filling and Italian– something that felt cozy and would go well with a glass of red wine. I looked in the fridge to see what I ingredients I had and found half a bag of spinach, crimini mushrooms, 2 portobellos, some sun dried tomatoes and a lot of cheese, including an unopened pint of ricotta. A calzone with vegetables added to the filling seemed like the perfect meal. I made some pizza dough and placed it in the oven at 170 degrees for a quick rise. I cut the mushrooms, and chopped the spinach, and  and sautéed them with garlic and a bit of olive oil. Then I added the vegetables to a mix of ricotta, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella and a little bit of manchego. I’m sure that parmesan, asiago, or fontina would have also worked well. I split the dough into four pieces, rolled each out into a circle, placed a generous amount of filling in each, and then folded them over. As they baked in the oven, I made a simple marinara from crushed tomatoes, garlic and chopped basil, for dipping. The result was warm and gooey and delicious, and the perfect accompaniment for a glass of red wine while I listened to the storm.

Calzones

I used my “perfect pizza dough” recipe for the dough. Spinach, criminis, portobellos and sun dried tomatoes were added to a mixture of cheese for the filling. Broccoli, or broccoli rabe would also work well. Any leftover filling is great for filling ravioli, or even just on top of pasta.

spinach mushroom calzoneINGREDIENTS

  • Pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • 4-5 garlic cloves smashed and minced
  • 8 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 ounce mangchego, grated
  • 3 ounces chevre (goat cheese)

Preheat the oven to 500, or the highest temperature. Lightly coat a medium sized pan with olive oil and place on medium heat. Add 3 of the minced garlic cloves and cook for a couple minutes, until garlic begins to turn golden. Add the mushrooms and coat with the oil mixture. Add the spinach, and cook until mushrooms are tender. Salt to taste.

In a large bowl, mix the cheeses. Add the remaining garlic and sun dried tomatoes to the mixture. Add the cooked spinach and mushrooms to the cheeses, and stir until everything is evenly distributed.

Divide the pizza dough into 4 pieces. (Or 8, if you want to make smaller calzones.) On a floured surface, roll out each piece into a circle. Place a generous amount of filling on one half of the circle. Fold the other half over to make a semi-circular pocket. Crimp the sides together with a fork. Using the tongs of the fork, poke three sets of holes into the top the the calzone. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes or until dough is golden. Serve with marinara, and enjoy with a glass of wine!

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