Fresh Spinach & Cheese Calzone Recipe

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Fresh spinach and cheese calzones are a delicious dish that will surely please your entire family. Prepare fresh spinach and cheese calzones from a great recipe with help from the owner of a family Italian restaurant in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Italian Dishes
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Video Transcript

Okay, today we're gonna be making a calzone with fresh spinach. Calzone from Italy, basically what it means is the shape of the pans, that's where they get that little shape from, it's a half moon. Italians have this incredible way of making things after body parts, beautiful women, all kinds of things, everything, every kind of pasta thing is a shape of something. So, having said that, and having a glass of wine, okay, very simple. What my grandmother used to do is she used to do it right on the table, with the dough, with the water, with the salt, with the yeast. I'm not trying to make a mess, so I'm not gonna do it that way. We're gonna take a little bit of flour, approximately three cups, okay. Now we're gonna do a little trick when you're making pizza dough or calzone dough, okay? If you're using yeast, whether it be fresh yeast or the packet, you wanna dissolve the yeast, okay? Which is about a teaspoon and a half, and a half a teaspoon of salt in the water. That's the trick. What's gonna happen is the yeast is gonna activate and get to life in the warm water, very simple, okay? We're gonna make sure everything's completely dissolved. We are gonna add the water to the flour, okay? What we're gonna do then is add a little bit of olive oil, approximately about 2 teaspoons, that's gonna give the dough some nice texture, and very simple, we're gonna begin mixing the dough. Okay? Now you're gonna get a little messy, you're definitely gonna get a little sticky, but this formula works. Okay? And again, if the dough's a little wet, very easily, okay, just add a little more flour. No big deal. Okay. Once again, you know, when you're doing this, you kind of gotta feel it out. The basic recipe is gonna work, okay? But depending on how you do it, like I said, you may need a little more flour. Now, once you get the dough to the consistency that you want, and you've kneaded it a little bit, okay? What we're gonna do, we're gonna take it like this, and we're gonna leave it to settle and rise for a little bit. After a couple hours of the dough sitting, and it's got time to proof, and time to rise, very simple. Okay? We're gonna set that aside for a little bit. Now that the hard part's out of the way, which is the dough, we're gonna begin to make the filling for the calzone. Now this is the fun part. A little bit of ricotta, okay? Now again, you wanna make sure it doesn't come seasoned, you wanna add a little bit of cracked pepper, okay? Now, the trick is too, I'm adding the pepper first, 'cause now I'm about to put a little Parmesan cheese, as you notice I didn't add salt. You don't want to put too much salt, you do want to put a pinch, 'cause it will help bring out the flavor of the cheese, okay? But here's the secret and here's a little trick. We're gonna put a little mozzarella, a little mozzarella in there. Now, a little shredded asiago, and a little shredded fontina, that's also gonna go in the mix. So again, fresh ricotta, asiago, fontina, a little bit of black pepper, some Parmesan. Now you could do this one of two ways. Okay? With the spinach you can either A, get a little garlic, saute it with a little bit of olive oil, I'm not gonna do that today, what I'm gonna do is use some beautifully fresh picked spinach, just the leaves, add them in there, because once we put this in the calzone, it's gonna create a little pocket, it's gonna cook, it's gonna steam nice, it's gonna give you a nice, fresh, clean taste. Very simple. We're gonna mix this up, okay? Again, the ricotta, the spinach, the mozzarella, the Parmesan, it doesn't get much better than that. Well maybe it does, we'll have another sip of wine. Okay. Once this is all mixed nice, very, very, very simple, we're gonna take our dough, okay? We're just gonna gently with our hands press down, make sure you have enough flour on your board too. It's always important to put a little flour down. Very simple. With the tip of your fingers you're gonna start pressing down and moving in circular motion to stretch your dough out, or if you get enough, you can give her one of those. Now again, the trick too to this when you're doing a calzone or a pizza, you don't wanna go too thin in the middle, because what's gonna happen is you go too thin, it's gonna create a hole, or if you making pizza, what's gonna happen is you're gonna go pick up the slice and it's gonna go like this. We don't want that to happen. Alright, very simple. Calzone, depending on the size you want, we're gonna make it a little bit bigger, pick your filling, very, very, very simple. And a calzone's like a giant pillow. I almost want to put a few of these on my bed and take a little nap. Alright? We're gonna fill the middle of it like that, very simple. Once we get it filled, we're gonna fold it over, like a little half moon, that's the shape. You can either do one or two things, you can get a fork and do this, I don't think you need to. With the tip of your fingers, you're just gonna go like that. Very simple, half moon shape. Some people brush it with egg, oil, what you're gonna do though, and what I do recommend, it's just a little drop of olive oil. Give it a little loving, don't be afraid to love your calzone. Alright? Very simple again, a little olive oil, beautiful. Now we just get a very simple bake in the oven, 350 degrees. You can deep fry it too, most of us don't have the luxury of a deep fryer at our house, but if you have one, more power to you. Very simple, throw it in the oven, 20 minutes, 25 minutes, at 350 degrees. Now, after 25 minutes of being in the oven, and again, not everybody is gonna have a beautiful wood burning pizza oven, but after 25 minutes, the finished product. And again, you can deep fry it, pizza frita, that's how you say it in Italian. Once it gets golden brown now, now this is something you've gotta, once it comes out of the oven, let it sit for a few minutes, because what happens is you get it cut right into it, it's just gonna pour right out, this has got a lot of love up in here, you got your asiago, your fontina, your ricotta, your Parmesan, your fresh spinach. Let it sit for a few minutes, and just to show you what it's gonna look like, cut that open, look at the inside of that. Look at the cheese in there, the ricotta, the spinach. Cut it into a few pieces, everybody's happy, that's a beautiful thing, and that's the calzone with fresh spinach and ricotta. Enjoy, bon appetit.

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