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Calzone

serves 8

Italian Cooking Tips:
One of the most delightful members of the pizza family comes in the form of a savory turnover, a folded-over pizza that can be filled with any of the more common pizza toppings. Usually called calzone, this baked or deep-fried turnover is a thoroughly Neapolitan tradition. The word calzone means "pants leg" in Italian. The pizza was so named because it resembled a leg of the baggy trousers worn by Neapolitan men in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Dough:
2 tablespoons yeast 
1 cup warm water 
1 tsp. salt 
1/3 cup oil (not olive oil) 
2 cups flour 

Filling: 
1/3 cup chopped mozzarella cheese 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese 
1/3 cup chopped parsley 
2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp pepper 
Add toppings of your choice below and enough to stuff however many calzones you are making. 
Any meats (Canadian bacon, pepperoni, salami, cooked ground beef)
Other toppings (bell peppers, tomatoes mushrooms, olives, garlic, pineapple, onions, eggplant, etc....)

4-6 cups oil for frying (depending on pan)

Add yeast to warm water and let sit for 1 minute. Add salt, oil, and flour. Knead for 3 minutes. Sprinkle tabletop with flour. Separate dough into 2-inch balls. Cover with damp cloth and let them rise for 45 minutes. 

While dough is rising mix all the filling ingredients together except additional toppings (add the meat and additional toppings after you stuff the dough with the mixture.)

Heat oil in wok or deep pan until very hot. 

Roll out balls into 6-inch circles. Divide stuffing into 8 portions. Place stuffing in center and add any additional toppings then fold over. Place fork in flour and use to seal edges. Fry in hot oil for about 1 minute on each side until they are reddish brown. Serve hot. 

You can also bake the calzone to make less fattening. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. and place the calzones on a pan. sprinkle a little olive oil on top and make a 1/2" cut (this allows air out.) Bake for about 40 minutes. 

Low-fat version:
Use low-fat ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Use lean meat (or no meat) and vegetables. 

If you are short on time you can buy frozen bread dough in the store.

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