Wednesday, January 1, 2014

(Almost) One-Hour Calzones!

Calzones Stuffed with Vegan Ricotta, Olives, Artichokes and Spinach

So, over the holidays, lounging on my parents couch, I indulged in one of my favorite guilty pleasures: FoodTV and The Cooking Channel. I love it. I love watching people cook. And while I was home, I watched an episode of the Pioneer Woman in which she made calzones. I've been thinking about them ever since. And tonight, after roughly 5 cups of black tea and a day of cleaning and organizing our tiny apartment one more time, I was antsy and needed to cook. And here we are.

To make this recipe super simple, I used my favorite one hour pretzel recipe from Averie cooks (they are AMAZING, easy, and insanely addictive) - Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels. Simpley make the dough, then put the filling together while it rises for half an hour. Cut the dough into 4 portions for large calzones, or 8 portions for smaller ones. Assembling the calzones takes roughly 15 minutes, they bake for about 10-15 minutes - BAM! Dinner in just about an hour!

Now, as with a lot of my recipes, this one is based largely on the ingredients I already had in my kitchen. Feel free to spice it up - add some crushed red pepper flakes, diced Tofurky Italian sausage (which I actually had but forgot to add :P), sauteed onions and peppers, whatever you like. Enjoy!

Calzones Stuffed with Vegan Ricotta, Olives, Artichokes and Spinach


One recipe Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzel dough (prepared according to blog directions).

Tofu Ricotta Filling

  • 1 lbs extra firm tofu
  • 1 tsp each dried thyme, oregano and basil (or 1 TBS Italian seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1-14oz can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained and rinsed (or one 2.25oz can)
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed (you can easily do this in the microwave)
  • salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil

Marinara for dipping

Prepare the dough. While the dough is rising, put the filling together.

Drain the tofu, and gently squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In a medium sized mixing bowl, crumble the tofu with your (very clean) hands until no large chunks remain. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taste for seasoning. Set aside, until dough has risen for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (if you have a pizza stone, that's even better!).

Divide your dough into fourths (or eights if you want smaller calzones). On a clean cutting board or counter, lightly sprinkle a layer of flour. Roll dough into a 10-12 inch circle. Spread 1/4 of the filling on one side of the circle, leaving about 3/4"-1" of dough at the edge.

(Ok, here I left a bit more than 1" of dough - but ended up scooching the filling forward a bit)

 Fold the dough over the filling, and either press together with a fork, or fold the edges under. You just want to make sure that the dough is pressed together so that the filling doesn't spill out.

Gently place your calzone onto the baking sheet. Assemble the rest of the calzones. Using a pastry brush, or your fingers, brush the tops of the calzones with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top crust is golden.

Allow to cool for several minutes, then gently transfer to a cooling wrack. Serve calzones with a side of warm marinara sauce, and a nice green salad. Enjoy!