Calzones are an Italian food of origin and are traditionally made for the Easter holiday - although they are great anytime! They originated in Naples, Italy as an easy, standing-in-the-street way of eating pizza. Different regions of Italy now have different ingredients and techniques to make Calzone but here is my mother's version given to me many years ago.
5 pounds of Flour
3 packages of Yeast
6 cups of Warm water
1 cup of good Olive oil warmed slightly on stovetop - (we have some fabulous ones to choose from)
Handful of black pepper
4 pounds of Ricotta cheese - if it is really wet drain well
5 pounds of Italian sausage - you can mix hot and mild or if you only have mild you can add a handful of hot pepper flakes.
1 stick of Pepperoni - chopped in small pieces
Eggs - as many as it takes - up to 11 eggs. I used 10 eggs for this recipe as they were large.
2 large handfuls of grated cheese - Pecorino Romano is good to use.
1/4 pound of regular Prosciutto
Block of Asiago cheese - chopped into small pieces
Block of sharp Provolone cheese - chopped into small pieces
Large handful of Italian Parsley - chopped fine
Start by mixing your Flour, water and yeast, warmed olive oil and pepper in a large pot or bowl and knead like you are making bread. Let rise.
Take your sausage out of the casing and break it up in a large frying pan and brown on stove top. When slightly cooled put in a large mixing bowl and add in the Ricotta cheese, pepperoni, grated cheese, prosciutto and the asiago and provolone along with the chopped parsley.
Then add in the eggs one at a time and mix well until you have a consistency that holds together.
When dough is ready take a piece (I got 10 calzones out of this recipe) and roll it out on a floured board to make a large round circle. Fill the bottom half with filling and then fold the top half over and seal it with a little cold water and use a fork to press against edges. Place on baking sheets.
Brush the top with a beaten egg and place in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes rotating so as not to burn the tops. If you have a really hot oven I would lower the temperature to 375 degrees.
When they are done let cool completely - then you can wrap in foil and freeze or place in refrigerator until you are ready to rewarm and eat. I like to rewarm them and get them hot for like 30 minutes at 350 - then I always let them rest for ten minutes or so before cutting so they do not fall apart when you cut the slices.
Enjoy and Happy Easter - or Buona Pasqua!