Cheese Calzone with Green Salad & Marinara Sauce
This spinach, cheese, and marinara Cheese Calzone will fill your tummy with amazing goodness. Just sprinkle some sesame seeds on top to give it that homemade just-out-of-the-oven taste sensation.
This Italian bread and creamy ricotta-spinach filling calzone is a classic combo of ingredients. All that’s needed to complete the meal is a light, crisp salad, and, of course a hearty glass of chianti red wine!
History of Calzone
The word “calzone” in Italian means “pant leg”. Created in Naples, Italy, the calzone, a meal in itself, made it easy for working people in the 1700’s to grab a bite to eat without having to sit down with a knife and fork.
Original calzones were formed by simply taking an uncooked pizza, topped with things like ricotta, mozzarella, anchovies, and olives, and folding in half before baking it.
Since traditional Italian pizzas were quite small by today’s standards, so were classic calzones.
Cheesy Veggie Calzones with Green Salad & Marinara Sauce
- garlic use 2 large cloves
- 3 oz baby spinach
- 2 1/4 oz Parmesan
- 1 container ricotta use 1⁄2
- 12 oz pizza dough
- 1 ⁄4 oz toasted sesame seeds
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1 head green leaf lettuce
- olive oil
- coarse kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- all-purpose flour
- red wine vinegar or balsamic or white wine vinegar
- Sauté spinach: Preheat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the center. Peel and finely chop 2 large garlic cloves. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and half of the garlic in a medium skillet over medium-high and cook until sizzling, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1–2 minutes. Let cool slightly. Reserve skillet.
- Make filling: Place spinach in the center of a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, squeeze excess moisture from spinach; remove from towel and roughly chop. Grate Parmesan on the large holes of a box grater and transfer 2⁄3 to a medium bowl (save rest for salad). Stir in spinach, 1⁄2 of the ricotta (save rest for own use), 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and a few generous grinds of pepper.
- Form calzone: Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll dough to a 10-inch round. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Spoon filling onto bottom 1⁄2 of circle, leaving 1⁄2-inch border on bottom and sides. Brush edges lightly with water. Fold dough over filling to create a half-moon; crimp edges to tightly seal. Cut 3 small vent holes on top.
- Bake calzone: Brush the top of the calzone lightly with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake on center oven rack until top and bottom are deeply golden and filling is bubbling, 10-17 minutes (depending on your oven). Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes to firm up filling.
- Make sauce: While calzone bakes, heat remaining garlic and 1 tablespoon oil in reserved skillet over medium-high until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook over medium, mashing tomatoes with a potato masher or fork, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Make salad & serve: Meanwhile, quarter lettuce lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, discarding end. In a large bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons oil. Add romaine and toss. Top with remaining Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice calzone and serve alongside salad and sauce for dipping. Enjoy!