Born in Napoli during the 18th century, calzone is a stuffed, half-moon pizza-shaped much like a turnover. Unlike traditional Neapolitan-style pizza, which requires a fork and knife to eat, this type of pizza was invented as a portable snack enjoyed while walking around town. In fact, the Italian translation of calzone is “pant leg.”
To make a calzone, traditional round pizza dough is folded over, stuffed with cheese, vegetables, and sometimes meat, then baked in a wood-fire burning oven until perfectly golden and crispy on the outside. The most traditional fillings include tomato sauce, mozzarella, and ricotta, but it can also be stuffed with meat like sausage or – as we have in this calzone recipe – prosciutto cotto.
Calzone con Prosciutto Cotto e Ricotta (Ricotta and Prosciutto Calzone)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly
Yield: 4 calzoni (4-6 servings)
For the Calzone:
1 recipe Basic Pizza Dough (see recipe below)
½ cup fresh ricotta
⅓ pound prosciutto cotto, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano DOP
Extra virgin olive oil, for the crust
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, in their juices, finely crushed by hand
For the Dough:
400 milliliters room-temperature water
5 cups type 00 flour
1½ tablespoons fresh yeast
1½ tablespoons salt
To prepare the dough:
Pour the water and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on high for 1 minute. Crumble the fresh yeast into the liquid, and let it mix for another 60 to 90 seconds. Turn the mixer down to medium, and slowly add the flour. Finally, let the dough mix on a medium to low setting for 11 to 14 minutes.
With floured hands, take the dough out of the mixer, and place it into a lightly floured bowl. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl, and let it sit for 45 to 60 minutes.
With floured hands, remove the dough, and break it into 250-gram pieces (about ¼ of the dough each). Using your hands, roll the pieces of dough into round balls. Cover the balls of dough and let them rise for another 45 to 60 minutes.
To prepare the calzone:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
When the dough has risen, oil four (12-inch) baking pans.
Dust the dough with flour, and begin to knead it open with your hands.
Lay the opened dough out in the baking pan. You now have the base for your calzone. In the center of the opened dough, add the ricotta, mozzarella, prosciutto cotto, Pecorino Romano, salt, and black pepper to taste.
Fold each round over itself to make a half-moon shape. Using your fingers, crimp the edges, sealing the calzone. Coat the top of the calzone with the San Marzano tomato, salt to taste, Pecorino Romano, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Place the calzone in the oven and bake until the dough is cooked through and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cut into 4 pieces and enjoy!