Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19: Spinach and Artichoke Calzones

4 ounces walnut pieces, toasted
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
2 large garlic cloves, cracked away from the skin
   Zest of 1 lemon
   A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
   Coarse black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus a dab to brush on the dough before baking
   Coarse salt
4 cups ricotta cheese
2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, defrosted in the microwave and wrung completely dry in a clean kitchen towel
2 balls or tubs of fresh pizza dough, any variety or brand
   A sprinkle of flour, to dust hands for handling the dough
1 sack (10 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend, shredded Provolone, or shredded mozzarella, your choice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the nuts, artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, cheese, some pepper, and nutmeg and pulse the ingredients until chopped. Turn the processor on and stream in the EVOO in a slow stream until the pesto forms. It should be thick and paste like in consistency.

In a large bowl, combine the pesto and the ricotta. Add the spinach, pulling it apart as you add it to the bowl, then mix it through the ricotta and pesto.Taste the filling to adjust the salt and pepper.

Cut each ball of dough in half and with each half, dust your hands with flour, and form a 6- to 7-inch round crust. Pile one fourth of the ricotta filling on half of the round dough.

Top with one fourth of the shredded cheese. Fold the dough over and seal at the edges. Brush the Calzone lightly with EVOO and place on a cookie sheet. You should be able to fit all 4 on a large nonstick sheet.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until evenly deep golden and crisp.


This is a fun meal to make. It is the variation of the Artichoke and Walnut Pesto Pasta. It takes a little longer than 30 minutes, but it's worth it. I changed the cheese from Parmigiano-Reggiano to just Parmesan. And I changed the servings from 4 to 4 burly man servings. My husband couldn't even eat a whole one. I ate 1/2 of one. My daughters had trouble eating 1/4 of one! The thing I would change about this next time I make it would be to cut back the amount of Ricotta. It was just too much filling. Maybe I would use 2 cups instead of 4 cups. It tasted pretty good though. I wonder what it would taste like if you added tomatoes to it.


  1. Wow. We are going to have to try this one. We love to go to this place on the Eastern Shore called Papa's Pizza where I love to get the spinach calzones. (They used to have a shop across form my work, but it closed.) Anyway, for years I have wanted to know how to make one. Now I am going to have to try this and see if it is anything like what I have been wanting. Can't wait to work it into the menu plan!

  2. I loved the crust part of it... the ricotta was just a little much. But you like ricotta, so you will probably like it. Oh, and I couldn't get the crust round; I just made rectangular calzones. :)