Thursday, October 6, 2011

Easy 7-Cheese Calzones

So when I was in elementary school, we had a “hot-lunch” option for our lunch each day. The school would order in a lunch item everyday that you had the option of taking part in. There was a schedule handed out at the beginning of each month that would tell you what the Monday-Friday “hot-lunch” option would be. If you wanted to take part, you would hand in your money to your teacher in the morning, and they would put a list of names along with the money in a zippered bank bag. If you were the good kid (which, not to toot my own horn, but I was often selected for this ;) )… you were lucky enough to get to walk the lunch money bag down to the lunch lady’s office.

Why do I tell you all of this? Well… I just love to walk down memory lane; oh, and my little story is totally relevant to my recipe today! A girl in my class’s parents were the owners of a local pizza shop – so one of the hot-lunch days was cheese calzones with hot marinara from Tomasso’s Pizza.

Why do I remember this SO vididly? Well, because everyone, and I mean EVERY.ONE. ordered hot-lunch on cheese calzone day. That little zippered bank bag was stuffed full of cash and lunch slips on calzone day. Why? Because calzones are irresistable. And dunked in hot marinara? Um yes. Make these and you’ll understand what I’m talking about!

You can cut these babies in half and serve them for game day treats that will keep everyone coming back to your house to watch football! Trust me. Hot cheese stuffed bread dunked in homemade marinara… you find a person who isn’t in to THAT. (Okay, maybe if you are lactose intolerant… but that’s another story!)

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Easy 7-Cheese Calzones

Yield: 4 calzones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-35 minutes

Total Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Marinara:
1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, course chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar

For the Calzones:
1 lb whole wheat pizza dough (you can use white)
2-3 tablespoons flour, for dusting
15 ounces part skim ricotta (you can use regular)
2 cups shedded italian six cheese blend
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Directions:

For the Marinara:
Add tomatoes, garlic, salt, and sugar to a saucepan and heat over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Puree using a stick blender (may use a regular blender or food processor - just allow it to cool and BE CAREFUL as putting a lid on hot liquids will create pressure and you don't want a hot marinara explosion!). Keep warm until calzones are ready.

For the Calzones:
Preheat over to 450°F with your pizza stone in the center rack. If you do not have a pizza stone, preheat the pan in which you will bake them on.

Cut pizza dough into 4 equal sized pieces and roll into balls. On a clean floured surface, use a rolling pin (and a sprinkle of flour to keep it from sticking) to roll the dough out as thin as you can get them (about 7-8 inches in diameter).

In a medium sized bowl, mix the ricotta and shredded cheese together using a fork. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts (i just use the fork to push the mixture into the four corners of the bowl). Add equal parts of the cheese mixture to each floured circle; you want to mound it in a half circle shape on the bottom half of the dough, leaving a half inch border (the cheese is thick, so you can mould it with your hands). Brush the border with the egg wash, fold top half over it and firmly press the two edges together. I like to fold the bottom slightly over the top to get a nice seal.

Brush tops of calzones with egg wash. You can sprinkle on some salt, oregano, crushed red pepper, and/or grated parmesan if you desire - I left ours plain this time. Bake at 450°F for 10-18 minutes until dough is golden brown and cooked through (may take a little longer if you are not using a pizza stone).

Serve with hot marinara and fresh grated parmesan cheese!

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15 Responses to “Easy 7-Cheese Calzones”

  1. 1

    Bev Weidner — October 6, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    I could CLIMB RIGHT IN THAT and snuggle. All the cheese. Hardcore.

    • Kristina replied: — October 13th, 2011 @ 11:40 am

      You’re hilarious.

  2. 2

    susie t. — October 6, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    oh. my. goodness. words fail me right now.

  3. 3

    Erin — October 6, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    SEVEN!? Love written all over this.

    • Kristina replied: — October 13th, 2011 @ 11:40 am

      haha

  4. 4

    Joy Wilson Poole — October 6, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

    I’ll think of you tomorrow at school when I select that privileged 1st period 7th grader to take our lunch envelope to the office. :-)

    • Kristina replied: — October 7th, 2011 @ 11:34 am

      haha… yes, be VERY selective with your choice ;)Although… i think it was viewed as much more of a ‘privelege’ in 3rd grade than it was in 7th grade heh

  5. 5

    Insensate — October 7, 2011 @ 3:28 am

    these seem very easy to make… will definitely try them out and let you know how they turn out… beautiful pictures as well

  6. 6

    Sandra — October 7, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    I am totally into this. You should have warned us to bring napkins to this post!

  7. 7

    Nicole — October 7, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    Oh, school lunches! What memories…
    Love the whole wheat- and dipped in marinara, so tempting!

  8. 8

    Fran {The Flavorful Fork} — October 7, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    I love making homemade calzones too. So easy and so yummy!

  9. 9

    Colleen Bierstine — October 7, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

    OH MY GOSH. All that oozing cheese looks like heaven! What will it take to get you to make me one and send it my way?

  10. 10

    natalie (the sweets life) — October 10, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    i want to make these just so i can say i ate a SEVEN-cheese calzone! awesomeness :)

    • Kristina replied: — October 13th, 2011 @ 11:41 am

      haha i know, right

  11. 11

    cabindoggie — October 14, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

    You know, all I did was READ the recipe and my hips grew an inch. But it probably won’t stop me from making this and eating lots of it!!!!!

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