Food gifts are always welcome, no matter how weird they may be.
My friend Sally dropped off 2 huge lumps of fresh pizza dough from a famous New Jersey pizzeria early one morning as one of my holiday presents.
I froze the 2 lumps knowing exactly what I would be making.
Calzones, what else?
When I was a kid, the only calzone you could buy at the local pizzeria was one stuffed with ricotta cheese and mozzarella and some ham. I would watch the hot ricotta and cheeses ooze out all over the paper plates and try to eat the heavy mess with my plastic knife and fork.
Now that I am grown up (so they tell me), I can stuff a calzone with whatever I want.
You are welcome to make your own pizza dough, but if you live by a good pizza guy, then buy it from him.
My pizza guy (I am dough challenged), flipped and rolled out my circle of dough into a large flat circle, as if it were pizza night.
I cut the circle in half with a pizza cutter to make 2 crescent shapes of dough.
For the filling, I prepared a lasagne type of filling:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup torn mozzarella cheese
handful of parmesan
salt & pepper
Mix together and set aside.
I cooked 2 sausage links with casing removed, and added 3 garlic cloves and a head of chopped, steamed broccoli florets to the same pot as the sausage.
I cooked the broccoli and sausage together until the sausage meat was cooked thru.
Spread some of the ricotta mixture on one half of a crescent, and top with some sausage and broccoli mixture.
Repeat on the other half crescent.
Fold dough over leaving 1" around the sides so you can seal them into tight pockets.
Cut 3 slits on the top to vent.
You will have 2 HUGE calzones, enough for a hungry family.
Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet with a heavy spatula.
Bake at 450F for about 10-12 minutes until the dough is nice and golden and some filling is oozing thru the holes.
Let rest 5 minutes before cutting open and serve with a side of tomato sauce.
Hold the paper plates!