Now that it’s summer, we felt that we needed a recipe that was both delicious and portable. A perfect solution for our problem was to make calzone! A folded up pizza, capturing the tastes of summer. We incorporated mushrooms and tomatoes that were freshly picked from local farms, and together with the spinach and mozzarella they became a lovely package.
In our recipe, we avoided using commercially purchased foods that are riddled with preservatives and MSG. A tomato sauce recipe, made simply by bringing plum tomatoes and their juices to a boil, then simmering away the liquid. The spinach is added into the sauce, and the mushrooms are easily sautéed with a minuscule amount of butter.
Mushroom, Spinach & Tomato Calzone (adapted from Jamie Oliver)
For the pizza dough:
- 400g strong white flour
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 7g instant yeast
- 1/2 tbsp castor sugar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 325 ml of lukewarm water
For the home-made tomato sauce (used in the filling)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 400 g plum tomatoes
- a stalk of basil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the rest of the filling:
- 250g mixed mushrooms (we used portabello)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 springs fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 25g butter
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 150g spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 100 ml tomato sauce (ingredients above)
- 125g fresh mozzarella, torn roughly
For the dough:
- Sieve the flour and salt into a clean work surface and make a well in the middle.
- In a bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, olive oil and water. Leave for 3 minutes, then pour into the well.
- Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and mix it into the liquid until it gradually comes together.
- When it has all come together, dust your hands with flour then knead the dough until you have a smooth and elastic dough, around 10 – 12 minutes.
- Place the ball of dough in a large flour dusted bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Place in a warm place for around an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- After it has proven, remove the dough onto a floured surface and knead it around to knock the air out. If you’re not using it immediately, wrap the dough in cling film and store in the fridge.
For the tomato sauce:
- Place a large saucepan on the heat and heat the olive oil.
- When the oil has heated, add the garlic and stir until the garlic has begun to color.
- Add the tomatoes and basil and stir, squashing the tomatoes on the pan using your spoon.
- Season with salt and pepper, then simmer until it forms a thick consistency.
- Cover, then turn the heat off and keep the pan on the stove.
For the calzone:
- Preheat the oven to 250ºC.
- Separate your finished pizza dough into 3 pieces, then roll each one out onto a floured surface until it is 1 cm thick. Leave to one side.
- Pour the olive oil into a frying pan, and add the mushrooms and sauté slightly before adding the garlic and thyme. Fry until the mushrooms are darker in color and have shrunk slightly, and they have a nice smell.
- Add the butter into the mushrooms then season with salt and pepper.
- Add the spinach into the still-hot tomato sauce, then simmer again until you get a thick mixture that has no excess liquid.
- Divide the mushroom and spinach mixture evenly between the 3 pieces of pizza dough, then top the pieces with mozzarella and season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the calzones over and crimp the edges with a fork so no filling spills out.
- Placed the calzone on a floured baking tray, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the dough is puffed up and golden and the filling is hot.
- When the dough has been kneaded enough, it should rebound back after you poke it.
- Dice the mushrooms a bit bigger than normal because they will shrink on the heat.
- Make sure to always dust all the tools and surfaces you are working with so that the dough does not stick.
- Remember to allow the dough to rise for long enough, or else it will be very tough and you won’t get that nice texture.