My Holiday Dish
A calzone, in Italian: “stocking” or “trouser”, is an Italian oven-baked folded pizza that originated in Naples. A typical calzone is made from salted bread dough, baked in an oven and stuffed with salami or ham, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, as well as an egg. Different regional variations on a calzone can often include other ingredients that are normally associated with pizza toppings.
Whenever I come home after a holiday abroad, whether it be in North America, Asia, Europe or the Mediterranean, as well as bringing back those ubiquitous gifts for friends and family, and cook’s ingredients for myself, I also like to bring back recipes that I have eaten and enjoyed whilst I was away. So, when I came back from Sri Lanka earlier in this year, I not only brought back some authentic hopper pans, but also a recipe for Sri Lankan Egg Hoppers too! Similarly, when I returned from Provence in the south of France last year, it was a recipe for Provençal Stuffed Apricot & Goat’s Cheese Salad with Edible Flowers that I brought home with me. And, after enjoying several Mediterranean cruises over the last two years, and having visited Italy several times, one recipe that captivated my taste-buds and imagination whist I was in Rome, Pisa and Florence, was the Italian Calzone – Stuffed Pizza Pasties.
So, today’s recipe for “My Holiday Dish”, is a recipe for my take on an Italian Calzone, and is a meaty version that is packed with cured meats, bacon, cheese, capers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and herbs; a calzone may seem tricky to make, but, if you can make bread and a pie or pasty, then you will be able to rustle up a batch of calzoni with ease! Likewise, if you are vegetarian or catering for veggie family and friends, then omit the meat and add more vegetables such as peppers, courgettes, aubergines and mushrooms – I bet even the meat eaters will also enjoy the veggie version. I have included a basic recipe for the pizza bread dough in the recipe, but, if you have your own favourite recipe for pizza dough, then by all means use that.
The recipe for “My Holiday Dish”, which is from Italy of course, is shared below and although I have suggested you can make four individual calzoni, I found it easier to make two larger calzoni and then cut them into slices – as you can see from my photos. Calzoni, like all pies, pasties, tarts and quiches, are perfect for picnics, school and office lunch boxes as well as for large gatherings and parties – these can be made beforehand, and freeze beautifully either at the unbaked or baked stage – they can then be baked from frozen, adding a a few extra minutes, or reheated, although they are also delicious when served cold too. Serve them, as I did, with a simple salad of seasonal lettuce leaves and a drop of Italian dressing……..and, I can report that they always prove to be very popular when I make them here at Chez Lavender and Lovage! Enjoy and see you soon, Karen