Friday, July 23, 2010

Spinach and Meatball Calzones...

I'm sure you guessed what we were doing with those reserved meatballs and sauce from last night's Quick Spaghetti and Meatballs... right? Especially since today was going to be Friday after all, meaning it happened to be our weekly Pizza Night! Yes, we took those two we swiped from that dish and made these Spinach and Meatball Calzones!

You could probably get away with just tucking the sauce and meatball mixture into the dough and call it done, but a couple extra steps and a few additional ingredients make all the difference. Instead of leaving the meatballs whole, we quartered each, making them not only easier to fit inside, but easier to eat by spreading the meat throughout the calzone, rather than in two giant lumps. Halving them would work too, but splitting them each into four feels like your getting a lot more meat as well!

With the smaller meatball nuggets added back into the sauce, we stirred in a mess of chopped spinach - you have two options with this, using fresh or frozen. We opted for the latter just because it was a time saver as all we had to do was thaw and squeeze it dry, but you could use fresh if you like - just wilt it down with a bit of water in a skillet, then remove as much liquid as possible and roughly chop.

Also into the filling went fresh basil (if you remember, we did add basil to the sauce last night, but it was stirred in after we separated the meatballs and sauce out for this), torn pieces of cheese from a ball of fresh mozzarella and a little extra salt and fresh ground black pepper to compensate for all that spinach.

With the pound version of our favorite whole-wheat pizza dough split into four balls, each was stretched out into a large round and topped with an equal portion of the meaty filling. Let me suggest using a slotted spoon for this since the sauce wasn't as reduced as it ended up being last night - a tight, thick filling is much better than a thin liquid-y one (there wasn't much left behind, maybe an extra couple tablespoons of juice)!

After a brushing of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, just because, the calzones were baked until the half-moons were puffed, golden and the filling was hot, melting the torn pieces of cheese inside into gooey puddles. With its crusty bread exterior and warm, sauce-y insides, Jeff deemed these one of the best calzones yet - I'd gladly make last night's spaghetti dinner again, just to have the opportunity to give these another go!

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