ricotta, ham & salami calzone

i’ve had calzones on my mind lately… my mom asked me for a calzone recipe the other day and i haven’t stopped thinking about them since!! this is mostly because of one amazing calzone i always have at a little dive on boston’s north end, the italian part of the city. the north end is littered with heavenly pastries, smooth espresso, pasta and gourmet pizzas. but the place we always come back to is galleria umberto.

a picture i snagged off the interwebs

it is an unassuming place, one you’d pass right by if you weren’t paying attention. the lines are long. you have to snag a table as soon as one is available. the menu is short. the food is cheap and is served on paper plates. and the food is cheap. i mean, really cheap. 

another picture i snagged off the interwebs

now, maybe a $4.00 calzone sounds expensive as far as cheap food is concerned, but it is a calzone the size of your head. i have yet to finish one myself! their sicilian-style pizza isn’t a paper thin cracker (though i do love a good thin crust) but a thick, sauce and cheese laden square slice. and while that is amazing, i can’t resist the ricotta, ham & salami calzone.

so, when calzones were mentioned to me the other day my mind immediately wandered to umberto’s and me being me, i decided it was high time i made my own version to hold me over in between trips to boston.

ricotta, ham & salami calzone
yield, 4 over-sized calzones

24 oz of pizza dough, see below
16 oz ricotta
4 oz mozzarella, shredded
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg yolk
8 oz sliced ham, thinly sliced
4 oz salami, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

full disclosure here, i forgot to get salami when i made these. don’t be like me, double-check your ingredient list before heading to the store! or, if you don’t do ham, chopped sauteed mushrooms and some defrosted and drained spinach would be pretty delish too.

i prefer to make my own pizza dough but you can certainly acquire it from other sources these days. divide the dough into 4 portions, about 6 oz each, and set aside.

i made extra dough than this recipe calls for and refrigerated it for later

to make the filling, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, egg yolk and salt & pepper and stir until thoroughly combined.

slice the meats into 1/4″ strips crosswise and mix together, separating the strips with your fingers. add the meat to the ricotta mixture and combine.

take one of the balls of pizza dough and roll it out into about a 10″ circle (amoeba-shaped is perfectly fine) and top with 1/4 of the ricotta meat mixture.

fold the dough over the filling and pinch around the edge to seal. brush the tops with olive oil, then with a sharp knife, make 2-3 small slits in the crust. repeat with remaining dough and filling. you can make these an hour or so ahead of time if necessary, just keep them refrigerated until ready to bake.

i put mine on foil since i decided to take them out to the grill.

since it is summer and it was a nice day outside i grilled the calzones. there is something about grilled dough that is just awesome. if you do this, place them over indirect heat until the dough looks cooked through, then move them over to the flame side for a little char. keep an eye on them, the dough will burn if you’re not watchful!

otherwise, preheat the oven to 450 and bake for 12-15 minutes. feel free to slide these onto your pizza stone if you have one, just make sure it has preheated for at least 30 minutes.

pizza dough

15 oz flour
1 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
9 oz warm water
2 T olive oil, plus extra for greasing bowl

in a standing mixer, add the flour, yeast, salt and sugar and stir together. fitted with the dough hook, add water and olive oil and mix until the dough just begins to come together. turn off the mixer and let it rest for 10 minutes. after it has rested, turn on the mixer to medium and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. let it rise until about doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hours. remove dough from bowl, knead for a minute then divide dough into four 6 oz portions and shape into smooth balls. let rest for 10-15 minutes before using.

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