Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sweet Italian Sausage Calzones

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Here's a recipe using an all purpose dough. Calzones are a great way to use your creativity by filling it with whatever you'd like. For these, I filled them with a sweet italian sausage & cheese filling. To prevent the filling from oozing out from the edges, I made sure there was a thick crust. It's a pretty straightforward calzone but it can be only as good as the fillings you put in! Read below to see what fellow What's Cookin, Chicago members thought of this recipe...

Sweet Italian Sausage Calzones
dough recipe adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup mixed sweet bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 lb italian sausage, removed from casings
4 cups tomato sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fontinella cheese, crumbled
1 batch all purpose dough

In a dutch oven over medium high heat, add the oil and saute the onion and garlic until softened. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms; saute until slightly caramelized. Remove sauteed vegetables from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, add the italian sausage and crumble into the pot. Saute until browned.

Add the vegetables back into the pot along with the tomato sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir and allow it to simmer for 20-30 minutes uncovered. Allow to cool. When cooled, stir in the mozzarella cheese to create the filling.

Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, shape each into a ball. Roll each portion out to a 6 inch circle. Place 2 tablespoons of the italian sausage filling mixture on half of dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Top the filling with some crumbled fontinella cheese.


Fold the dough over until edges almost meet, then fold bottom edge ot dough over the top edge and crimp. Brush the tops of the calzones with melted butter and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown.




Tami
"This was an amazing calzone! The crust was perfect - crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. It was not at all soggy as can happen when making a calzone. I was expecting a spicier calzone with the italian sausage, but actually, it was kind of sweet and I really enjoyed that. The filling was sweet, yet tangy and the cheese was just the right amount. Too much cheese can overpower anything else, but that was not the case here. I would DEFINITELY recommend and make this recipe. It would be a lot of fun to try other kinds of fillings as you have a great crust to begin with. This dish was my favorite of the three I tried!"



Kevin & Marla
"Pretty basic and simple calzone. Ours was filled with Italian sausage, mushrooms, cheese, spices, and tomato sauce. I think I would roll the dough a bit thinner and add more to the inside. After all the bread from the previous two dishes, the thick crust on our calzone was a bit too much. I would have preferred more sauce and more cheese to come oozing out as I cut it. I would roll the dough a bit larger, add lots of ingredients that you love, fold and crimp the edges, then bake and enjoy! This is one of those dishes that you can literally add anything you like and have it come out delicious." -- Kevin & Marla



Eric
"The Italian Sausage Calzone was a very portable dish to taste. I was walking around the house while taking bites off of it. I would encourage others to make this Calzone because the filling had a very meaty flavor and this dish would make for a no-mess-on-the-go meal. A smaller ‘empanada’ size version would work as well, especially if you have kids. If I were to make this dish/recipe, I would have chunks of the sausage, cheese and the other ingredients in the Calzone instead of the smooth texture it has now."

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