Traditional Calzones with a Twist
Mario Batali's Ricotta and Escarole Calzones
- 1/4 cup light red or white wine
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 ounces yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-vergin olive oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large head escarole (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
- 4 tablespoons tiniest capers (rinsed 3 times in water and drained)
- 8 marinated anchovy fillets (finely chopped)
- 1 cup gaeta olives (pitted but left whole)
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups fresh ricotta
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 2 eggs (well beaten)
- To make the dough: Combine the wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt, and the olive oil and mix thoroughly. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of the flour and stir with the spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to incorporate as much flour as possible.
- Bring the dough together by hand and turn out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until you have made a smooth, firm dough. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside to rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.
- For the filling: Bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Separate the escarole leaves and rinse thoroughly. Drop leaves into the boiling water and cook until tender, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Stack the leaved and cut into 1-inch ribbons.
- In a 12 to 14 inch saute pan, heat the 1/4 cup of oil over high heat until smoking. Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until light golden brown. Add the capers, anchovies, olives, currants, and pine nuts and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic is dark brown but not burnt. Add the escarole and stir until well mixed and cook until very soft, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Gently stir in the ricotta and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Cut the risen dough into 4 equal pieces and knead each portion into a round. Cover again and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a clean pizza stone in the oven to preheat. Dust a clean work surface lightly with flour. With you fingers and palms, flatten one of the dough rounds into a 10-inch oval about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Place one quarter of the escarole mixture just above the center of each oval. Fold the dough to form a half-moon and then press the edges to seal. Fold the edge up with your fingertips and pinch closed to form a ridge all the way around. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Brush with the beaten eggs. Place the calzones directly on the pizza stone and bake 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot or cool to room temperature.