Friday, February 1, 2013

Calzones for Super Bowl Sunday

Calzones. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Super Bowl eats are all about hearty flavors and who better to deliver the goods than Emeril Lagasse? This calzone recipe from last fall's #SeriousSandwich blogalong is a game-winning touchdown, just right for sharing with family in the glow of the flat screen.

The recipe makes four calzones; I make them half-size, yielding eight breads that fit smaller hands and appetites.

Sopressata and Genoa Salami Calzones
4 calzones
I love this calzone with a variety of salami, but this is a recipe where you can safely go in many directions. Change up the cheese, use roasted red peppers or sautéed mushrooms instead of the meat, add Roasted Garlic (page 79) . . . I could go on and on. And you don’t have to eat them right out of the oven, either—they travel well, so pack your picnic basket!
1 recipe Semolina Pizza Dough (use Emeril’s recipe, or your favorite homemade or storebought)
1 cup Quick Tomato Sauce for Calzones (recipe follows) or your favorite jarred pizza/pasta sauce
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
8 ounces mixed sopressata, hot sopressata, Genoa salami, and/or pepperoni, chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
1. Place a pizza stone in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. (Alternatively, place an upside-down rimmed baking sheet on the rack in your oven.)
2. Halve one of the pieces of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to form two 8-inch rounds. Spread ¼ cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom half of each round, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the basil and one-quarter of the cured meats evenly over each portion of sauce. Sprinkle one-quarter of the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and crushed red pepper over each portion of meat. Gently fold the top half of the dough over the filling, rolling and pressing the edges together with your fingertips to seal them, and crimping as you go along. Make 2 more calzones with the remaining ingredients.
3. Depending on the size of your oven, you may be able to bake only 2 calzones at a time. Cut several small slits in the top of each calzone to allow air to escape while baking, and transfer the calzones to a pizza peel that has been lightly dusted with flour or cornmeal (to facilitate moving the dough). Tilt the pizza peel to slide the calzones onto the preheated baking stone. Bake for 16 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the dough is cooked through. Remove the calzones from the oven with the pizza peel or a spatula, and serve immediately or at room temperature.
Quick Tomato Sauce for Calzones
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and pureed
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, thyme sprig, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil, discard the thyme sprig, and set aside until ready to use.
This recipe is reprinted with permission from "Emeril's Kicked-Up Sandwiches: Stacked with Flavor" (Morrow Cookbooks, $24.99)

For more of Emeril's kicked-up sandwiches cooked by some fantastic bloggers, check out my #SeriousSandwich Pinterest board. Emeril's website,, features football favorites for your Super Bowl party.

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