I cannot remember a time when I did not love everything pizza. As a matter of fact I have never met anyone, without an allergy or tolerance issue, that didn’t love pizza as well. Once I tried calzones or panzerottos I was hooked on them too. Pizza pies became my new favorite food! My late friend Marcel made this calzone for me as a surprise. I knew we were going to have lunch together but had no idea she had baked this magnificent creation! The Ultimate Calzone is full of whatever pizza toppings you desire! You can create your own little slice of heaven!
I keep trying to decide which toppings I love the most in our Ultimate Calzone. For me, I usually prefer ham, pineapple and bacon. Everyone else in the house loves and desires meat, meat, and more meat! Needless to say we make the meaty calzone more frequently! I only eat a small piece and there are never any leftovers if we make it the meaty way!
Regardless of your preference, this recipe for The Ultimate Calzone is definitely one worth keeping!
The Ultimate Calzone
- 1 tablespoon olive or another vegetable oil
- 1 pound sausage, any variety, casings removed
- 4 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced, quartered
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 pounds pizza dough, defrosted
- 4 cups cheese, any variety, shredded
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (if desired)
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Options to sprinkle on top of your Calzone
- 1 pinch Italian Seasoning
- 1 pinch poppy seeds
- 1 piinch sesame seeds
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Heat your cast iron skillet on an element, over medium high heat, for a few minutes. Add oil and wait until it shimmers or a drop of water flicked in it dances. When ready, add sausage and cook. After a few minutes add the pepperoni and onions. Cook, until sausage is no longer pink, about 7 or 8 minutes in total. Stir in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer meat on to paper towel. Wipe your skillet clean with paper towels.
Place dough on lightly floured surface. Divide your dough into three equal pieces. As equal as you can get them. Wrap one piece in a clean damp dish towel or greased plastic wrap and set aside for the time being. Take the two pieces that are left and knead them together. Grab your rolling pin and roll the dough into a flat piece around 16 inches by 16 inches, assuming your pan is 12 inches. Next you are going to loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it into your now empty skillet. Let the extra dough hang over the edge. My friend Marcel made this rolling and unrolling look easy. I will never be that graceful! Press your dough into the bottom inside edges of your skillet bottom. I make a fist and push the dough into the bottom edge and all around. I also press the dough at the top edge of the skillet to try and hold it up the sides. This part can be frustrating. Hang in there.
Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded cheese all over the bottom surface of the dough that is inside the skillet. Dump meat and onions from the paper towel in to a bowl. Sprinkle pepper and Italian seasoning all over the meat and stir until spices are as evenly distributed as possible. Next, spread meat mixture all over cheese. Make the meat layer as even as possible. Press down with a spatula to reduce pockets of air etc. Using a brush, spread your marinara sauce all over the meat. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Grab the dough you set aside and place it on to your floured workstation. Roll the dough out into roughly a 14 inch circle. Then, loosely roll your dough around your rolling pin and gently unroll it over top of the cheese and meat mixture. Take a fork and press all around the edge of the skillet to seal the top and bottom dough together. Pull the excess dough away from the edge you just pressed with a fork. Brush top of your calzone with your beaten egg and sprinkle with some poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or a pinch of Italian seasoning. Next, using a sharp knife, cut a few inch long slits in the dough in a nice pattern. This will allow heat to escape while it is baking in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes r until your crust is golden brown. In my oven I always have to rotate everything about half way to make sure everything bakes evenly. At about the 15 minute mark I would recommend turning the skillet 180 degrees. It is up to you.
Once you remove the skillet from your oven place it on a wire rack and allow it to cool for 30 to 40 minutes. Using a spatula slide your calzone on to a cutting board. Slice into wedges and serve. Enjoy!