Earlier this week, I read a news article about competitive eating celebrities Joey Chestnut and his archrival /nemesis Takeru Kobayashi. Apparently, Pizza Hut sponsored a calzone-eating contest and invited both competitors to compete head to head to see who could eat the most 'P-zones' in six minutes. In case you were wondering, Kobayashi reigned supreme, downing nearly six of the 12-inch calzones in the alloted time. Um... ewwww. Don't get me wrong, this girl can and loves to eat. But this is taking it a bit too far, lol.
If you aren't feeling a little nauseous at the thought of this, and you're interested in checking out other upcoming competitions, don't forget to watch the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. It takes place in Coney Island, NY, and is usually shown on ESPN.
So while the thought of these crazy guys gorging themselves silly in just a few short minutes is somewhat unappetizing, the thought of a hot, spicy calzone definitely got my taste buds buzzing. So I knew I needed to whip some up this week.
Two great things about calzones, in my opinion. First, they are so easy and versatile. For the outer shell, I use frozen pizza dough. For the filling, it really just depends on your taste... or what you're craving at that particular moment in time... or what you have on hand. Generally speaking, most ingredients that you think taste good on pizza will taste equally delicious inside a calzone. Second, they reheat very well in a toaster oven. So feel free to make some extras and bring them for lunch the following day... that's what we did!
This time around, we used hot Italian sausage paired with onions and green peppers. They turned out pretty good and, despite the fact that he doesn't particularly care for spicy food, Gabe agreed that they were just right.
1 pkg. frozen pizza dough, thawed
1 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 green pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1-2 c. mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
2-3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
Dip of choice (marinara, Ranch dressing, etc)
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, green pepper, and onion until browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Set aside.
Meanwhile, divide thawed pizza dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll into circles (maybe about 6-8 inches in diameter), at about 1/8-in. thickness. Add meat mixture and cheese. Fold one side over to form half circle and press to seal edges. Crimp the edge with a fork. Place on baking sheet.
When all calzones are completely sealed and on baking sheets, brush tops with beaten egg. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place in oven. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until calzone is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Serve plain, or with marinara or Ranch dressing... depending on your preference. Enjoy!