When I was in college, I worked for a couple years at this bar on campus. Okay, not a bar on campus, the only bar on campus. And while it was a fun bar to go to (once you were 21...for real, there was a list of students who were 21 and you had to be on it to get in - small school) the highlight for many people was the food.
Now you could get any type of bar food. Pizzas, buffalo chicken fingers (OHMYGODSOGOODIWANTNOW), and one of the better highlights, the calzones. Now calzones are funny to me. Sauceless pizza pockets. It's like a fancy Italian hot pocket. These calzones though were ENORMOUS. Like, only if I was super drunk could I eat the whole thing big (don't judge). But having a hot calzone and dipping the slices into marinara sauce brings me straight back to Kenyon.
So this weekend I decided to replicate the calzone goodness. But I decided to make them a bit more reasonably sized. I had intended for them to be "mini" but they're more like "reasonable for 1 person" size. Unless, of course, you're my husband and eat 1 and a half. I also made them more "healthy" - aka chicken and turkey sausage rather than full fat delicious pork sausage.
Turns out with the help of Whole Foods pizza dough (for real peeps, this stuff is awesome and unlike frozen dough requires very little foresight or planning) these suckers are easy. If you're an overachiever, you can make your own pizza dough. Truth be told if I had thought of this recipe more than an hour before I planned to start cooking, I would have made my own. But I am a terrible terrible planner.
You can use this recipe to stuff whatever you want into the calzones. I had planned on making some sweet ones with apple, cinnamon, sugar and marscarpone. But I was too full after we had our first round of calzones. So I'll have to figure out what to do with all that marscarpone.... Maybe it can be incorporated into a Thanksgiving desert hah!
So enjoy these calzones. These would be an awesome family night dinner, as you can pick and choose what to put in the 'zones.
This will make enough calzones for 4-6 people depending on the hunger level.
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 mild Italian turkey sausage
1 hot Italian chicken sausage
1.5 C sliced mushrooms
2 C shredded parmesan cheese
Cornmeal (to use while working the pizza dough, you don't need too much)
1 ball pizza dough (enough for 2 14" pies, or if you go to WF, just one package)
Note: If you have a pizza stone, use it. If you don't, then I'd recommend putting a baking sheet in the oven while the oven heats up so that the calzones hit the sheet when it's hot. This will help it crisp up.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Heat up the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
Slice the onions and add to the skillet. Caramelize the onions slightly, which will take about 15-18 minutes.
Remove the onions and set aside. Uncase (aka remove the skin from the outside) the sausages and add to the pan, increasing the heat to medium.
Brown the sausage, cooking for about 8 minutes, and then add the mushrooms.
Cook for another 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Add the tomato and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Spread cornmeal on your workspace. This will help you with the sticky pizza dough and an easy transfer to your pizza stone. Work about a fistful of dough into about a 6" size mini pizza dough.
Add about 2 heaping T of the sausage mix to the center of the dough and top with a heaping amount of parmesan.
Fold the dough over and enclose. It should almost look like an empanada. Seal the sides and press closed with a fork. Poke some holes into the top of the calzone. Beat the egg in a bowl and brush the top of the calzone with some egg.
Put in the oven, with as many that will fit on your stone or your baking sheet. I was doing about three at a time, with two batches. Bake for about 18 minutes. Remove and serve with some marinara and enjoy!