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Please accept our apologies…this Sausage and Pepper Calzone recipe is long overdue!
We’ve been planning to share one of our favorite calzone recipes here on A Family Feast for a long time because the word “calzone” shows up almost every week on our website’s search report that lists all of the different recipes our readers search for on our site, but don’t find. 🙁 (We’re sorry to keep you waiting!)
So finally – here is one of our favorites – a delicious Sausage and Pepper Calzone!
Calzones originated in Naples, Italy and are shaped like a folded pizza. But interestingly, according to Wikipedia, the word references “stocking” or “trouser” in Italian. Traditionally, calzones were made from salted bread dough, but here in the United States, calzones are most often made out of pizza dough like our recipe today.
Making a calzone is really very easy! After rolling out the dough, you just fill it with your favorite meats, cheeses and vegetables. We filled ours with an easy no-cook pizza sauce, pre-cooked sweet Italian sausage, sautéed red peppers and onions, pesto, and a mix of ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
Once filled, fold the dough over, pinch the edges with your fingers and cut some slits in the top so the air inside the calzone vents as it bakes. Once it is golden on the outside and hot and melted on the inside, remove the oven and serve. You can slice larger calzones in half, or smaller calzones can be served as a standalone hot pocket.
We like to serve our Sausage and Pepper Calzone with an additional bowl of pizza sauce on the side – you can use your favorite jarred sauce, our Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce, or our Easy No-Cook Pizza Sauce.
- 20 ounces pizza dough
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ large plump red bell pepper, cut into vertical strips
- ½ large yellow onion sliced vertically
- ¼ teaspoon dry oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 Italian sausage links, removed from casing (sweet or hot – your choice)
- 6 tablespoons whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 teaspoons pesto
- 4 tablespoons pizza sauce
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- Flour for dusting your counter workspace
- Corn meal for pizza peel
- 1 egg
- Pizza stone
- On a floured surface cut the pizza dough in half, roll into two round discs and place in a warm place covered with a dish towel while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- In a large sauté pan, over medium high, place oil and heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add peppers, onions, oregano, garlic and pepper flakes and reduce to medium and cook for about five minutes until they have softened but still have a bit of a crunch. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan over medium high, place sausage and break apart with two wooden spoons into small pieces. Cook until browned and no longer pink, about five minutes. Pour into a strainer and strain out all fat. Discard fat and set cooked sausage aside.
- When the dough has warmed up and is pliable, preheat the oven to 525 degrees and place a pizza stone in the center of the oven on rack.
- On a floured surface, flatten each disc to 10 inches round.
- Sprinkle the pizza peel with corn meal and place one 10 inch round over top.
- Smear half of one side with half of the ricotta leaving about a half inch edge.
- Spoon half the pestoover the ricotta.
- Spoon half the pizza sauce over the mixture, again keeping the edge clean.
- Top with half the cooked onions and peppers.
- Top with half the cooked sausage meat.
- Top with half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan.
- Wet the edge near the filling with water, leaving the other side dry.
- Fold the dry half over the filling, meeting the wet edge.
- Starting from one corner, pull the bottom dough up and slightly over the top dough and pinch. Continue from tip to tip and then go back and do it again so the seal is solid.
- Mix the egg with a fork and brush it over the top leaving the edge untouched.
- Take a sharp knife and make three slits across the center for steam to escape.
- Slide the calzone onto the pizza stone and time it 8 minutes. Check for browning and doneness and bake for 2 more minutes if needed.
- Repeat steps above for second dough disc.
- Serve cut in half with additional pizza sauce on the side for dipping.
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