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The calzone is an ideal, bready, delivery system for the deliciousness that is meatballs.  But, you can put anything you want inside your calzone!  You could make a million variants on Italian style fillings: different sausages, peppers, and fun cheeses.  Other cuisines are an option too: if I was feeling like indulging myself, I would love to make a Greek flavored calzone with ground lamb, spinach, herbs and feta cheese.  If you wanted to make a ultra-healthy calzone, you could fill it with ricotta and veggies.  All the possibilities make my little mind boggle!

Pizza dough is really easy to come by too.  It’s quite simple to make at home; I’ve been testing out various pizza dough recipes and for this one I used Alice Waters’ recipe in ‘The Art of Simple Cooking.’  It was excellent and quite tasty, but my quest for pizza dough perfection continues.  If you’re pinched for time or want to spare yourself some work, pretty good fresh pizza dough can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores at decent prices.  Also, most pizzerias are happy to sell you a little dough too if you ask nicely.

Meatball Calzone

Makes 4 calzone – cost $.83 each!

Ingredients

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  • 2 lb pizza dough, cut into 4 half lb pieces ($.75)
  • 1 pt leftover meat balls with tomato sauce ($1.50)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 onion ($.10)
  • 1/3 bell pepper ($.20)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • crushed red pepper – to taste
  • 2 Tbs minced parsley
  • 2 Tbs sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese ($.50)

Preheat your oven to 400 F and put in a pizza stone if you have it.  No worries if you don’t.

Heat the oil in a saute pan and saute the onions, peppers and garlic for 5 minutes.  Season them with salt and crushed red pepper, to taste.  Add in the leftover meatballs and sauce and bring to a simmer.  If your sauce is too thick, you may want to add a little bit of water to loosen everything up and mix it all together.  Break the meatballs in half or in quarters.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, sour cream and parmesan cheese.

Now for the assemblage!  This is a great thing to do with any precocious people you may be cooking with, because everyone loves flinging dough around and pretending to be a deigo. (Relax, I’m a deigo.)

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Firemen sometimes like to pretend to be pizza chefs…

However you want to do it, by flinging it around or with a rolling pin, flatten out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick and spoon on about half a cup of the meatball filling, right in the middle, leaving a 1-2 inch border.

DSCN4172Next, fold the dough over and roll up or pinch the edges closed.  Then cut a few slits for the steam to escape.  As so indicated by my kitchen Vanna White…

DSCN4176Now, do that with all the dough pieces and put them on the pizza stone or some sheet trays and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Yum!

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