Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Calzone

I first had a ‘calzone’ when we went on a trip to Long Islad, NY and had it in one of the little pizza shops in Montauk. I fell in love with this very portable wrapped pizza – into a sandwich style. It has always been on my list of things to recreate at home, and finally I got to do it this week – twice. 🙂 yes, the first time didnt get good enough pictures, so made it again. 🙂
For those who don’t know what a calzone is – think of it as a filled pizza – typically filled with anything you would find on a pizza and cheese(of course!), enveloped in pizza dough – it is a very portable way of eating a pizza.

I have made mine using a filling of caramelized onions and mushrooms along with ricotta and mozzarella cheese. But, you can use whatever filling that you like. I have also used a store bought pizza dough, to make things easy. I have it on my to-do list now, to make the dough from scratch and preferably make it a whole wheat – more healthier option. I made the filling ahead of time, and so making the calzones took me exactly 15 mins – 5 minutes for assembly and 10 minutes for baking. It is a very quick dinner that you can put on the table in literally minutes – if you plan ahead. 🙂

Ingredients:
1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
1 large onion
1 8 oz box mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tbsp choppped parsley
salt/pepper to taste
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella(I used part skim, low fat)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese(I used part skim, low fat)
1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Method:

To make the caramelized onion and mushroom filling:
Slice the onions and mushrooms thin. Finely chop the garlic. Heat the butter and the oil in a pan. Add the red pepper flakes, followed by the onion. Cook over medium heat, until the onions are caramelized and golden brown. Add the garlic, followed by the sliced mushrooms and cook them down. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the italian seasoning. Do not salt the onions or the mushrooms in the beginning, as salt brings out water and will steam them, rather than caramelize them. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and set aside to cool.

To make the calzone:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with a pizza stone or an inverted cookie sheet in the oven. Gently pop open the pizza dough onto a work surface dusted with flour. Cut the rectangular pizza dough in half using a knife or pizza cutter. Place 1/3 mozzarella cheese on each of the halves in the center. Place 1/4 cup of ricotta on each of the halves. Top this with the cooked caramerlized onion and mushroom mixture.

Using a pastry brush, brush some water evenly onto the edges of the pizza dough. Gently fold the pizza dough over on to itself. Press to get all the air out and seal by using a fork to seam the edges of the dough together. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Gently use a pizza peel or a large spatula to transfer the two calzones onto the hot cookie sheet that has been preheating. Bake for 10 minutes – and remove when the edges start to become golden brown. Remove, and let it rest for atleast 3-4 minutes – the filling will be extremely hot. Cut the calzone into two(they are huge by themselves) and serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Verdict: I absolutely loved the caramelized flavor of the onions in the filling – the caramelization made it sweet – almost like onion jam – it was countered very well by the mild spice from the chilli flakes and the garlic. The mushrooms gave a nice meaty texture to the sandwich. The calzone itself was exactly the way I remember it – cheesy, gooey, very filling and almost impossible to eat the whole thing. 🙂

Sending this to ‘Only Baked’, event series by Pari and to ‘Dish it out – Mushrooms and Onions’ event series by Vardhini.

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