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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spinach Bacon Cheese Calzones

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 If you're anything like me, you never, ever get sick of pizza. If you are under the unfortunate circumstance of having a child or a spouse or a roommate who isn't quite as pizza obsessed, maybe you can sneakily get away with yet another night of pizza for dinner by making them calzones instead!
These have all the right elements of pizza, just a little mixed up. While you can stuff them with any of your favorite pizza toppings, I kept things simple--spinach and bacon in a ricotta/mozzarella mixture. Sauce was served on the side for dipping, which is perfect if you know someone who hates tomato sauce (ahem. my sister Renatta!).
Make them. Freeze them. And pull them out when that pizza craving strikes!
And if you haven't already, you've gotta try grilling them!!

One Year Ago: Parmesan, Pea Pesto, and Fresh Herb Pizza
Two Years Ago: Asparagus Goat Cheese Gratin
Three Years Ago: No Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Spinach Bacon Cheese Calzones
*makes 8-10 calzones

-2 batches pizza dough (fresh storebought is fine)
-1 (15 oz) container low-fat ricotta cheese
-1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
-2 eggs
-1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
-salt and pepper, to taste
-2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tbsp dried oregano
-1 (9 oz) bag fresh spinach, steamed and excess water pressed out
-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
-tomato sauce, for serving

1. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, eggs, basil, garlic powder, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and bacon, mixing to evenly combine.
2. Divide pizza dough into 8 or 10 equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll out a piece of dough into a thin circle. Top half of the circle with about 1/4-1/2 cup of the filling. Lift the plain (topping-less) half of the dough up over the filling, pressing to seal the edges and form a half moon shape. Be sure to seal well and not overfill to avoid spillage!
3. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Using a knife, cut a few slits in the top of each filled calzone. If baking immediately, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 450F for 25-35 minutes, until browned and cooked throughout.
4. If freezing, place on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Once firm, wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a ziploc freezer bag. Freeze until ready to use. When ready to bake, allow to thaw (you can also not thaw, but baking will take longer). Bake at 450F for 25-35 minutes.
5. Serve with heated tomato sauce.