Fall calzones

By Katherine

More cheese can never hurt

Sometimes ingredients just sort of assemble themselves.  I came up with this calzone after Greg bookmarked a simple sausage and turnip recipe from The Silver Spoon. He’d found an easy recipe he could quickly make after work. I’d called in sick that day and he didn’t want me in the kitchen.

With my headache gone by the afternoon, I would have felt guilty not making him a nice dinner since he’s constantly whipping up gourmet meals for me and cooks on most weeknights. It turned out for the best, the recipe for sausage and turnips was one of the few letdowns we’ve had from that cookbook, one of our favorites. It seemed to operate on the assumption the turnips wouldn’t need any liquid to cook. Perhaps, turnips in the South are different because they definitely needed to simmer in liquid. Well, once you start futzing with a simple recipe this is what tends to happen.

Fall Calzones

For Filling

  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin or other squash (cut in about 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 3 medium turnips, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup apple cider (white wine is a fine substitute)
  • 2 Italian sausages
  • 8 ounces Mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil or sage
  • 2 tbsp caramelized onion (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook sausage in a frying pan on medium heat until browned on all sides. Remove from heat and cut into about 1/2 inch slices. Return to the pan. Add garlic and sliced turnips and saute quickly to brown garlic, stirring often. Add about a quarter cup of apple cider. Brown meat and let turnips simmer until soft, about 30 minutes, adding more cider if needed. Toss pumpkin in when everything is cooked just long enough to cook through. Salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, mix cheeses and herbs. Set aside.

For Dough

  • 3 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp yeast dissolved in 2 cup warm water, plus extra water as needed

Let yeast sit until bubbles form on surface, about five minutes. In a large bowl mix flour and salt and then create a well in the center. Add oil to yeast and pour into center of flour. Scoop sides of flour into liquid mixing well. Add more warm water a tablespoon at a time until dough forms a rough mass that barely holds together. Remove from bowl and knead by hand for 10 minutes. As you knead, the dough will become more pliable and smooth. If after five minutes it has not begun to soften add more water. If it seems too soupy or sticky add some flour, but again wait five minutes to do so. When done the dough should be very smooth and not sticky at all. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise for two hours. Punch down dough and form into four balls. Let rest 10 minutes before rolling out for calzones.

To assemble calzones, roll out each ball of dough into an even rectangle or oval about 1/4 inch thick. Spread a fourth of the cheese mix on one side leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top with roughly a quarter of the sausage mix. Add a half tablespoon of onions to top, if desired. Make sure there’s plenty of room to fold the dough over without stretching it. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges together to make a seal. Brush with olive oil or butter and dust with grated Romano if desired. Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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97 Responses to Fall calzones

  1. rutheh says:

    I was just going to bed and read your post and am thinking about the addition of that delicious caramelized onion and clearly I did not eat enough cheese or something today. Looks so god.

  2. Courtney says:

    We were just thinking about having calzones this weekend – and these look so tasty! And futzing (great word by the way) with a recipe can be half the fun. :)

  3. BrainRants says:

    Please FedEx me some. I am hungry.

  4. I love these fillings, they’re a very unique combo for calzones.

    • katherine says:

      I actually had the idea in my head before Greg left, but I thought he’d tell me it wouldn’t work and that I might not be up for making it.

  5. I love recipes born this way:) making me hungry!

  6. I just love turnips.. and I will also be making it with the caramelized onions that you stated were optional. I think it will just be delicious. Wonderful recipe Katherine :)

    • katherine says:

      Thanks, Kay. You know we’ve just gotten into turnips. But one of the first times we made them it was awful. Just pureeing them alone was not tasty! I slipped some in mashed potatoes recently and Greg didn’t even notice.

  7. Sissi says:

    It is the most irresistible looking calzone I have ever seen. Mascarpone and caramelised onions are probably the ones to be blamed.

  8. Beautifully done Katherine.
    Have a great weekend. :-) Mandy

  9. Tandy says:

    I have yet to try making a Calzone, so I will add this to my ever growing list :)

  10. Holly says:

    Calzones = single best food on the planet right? I heard it’s official! Wow, I really really want to make this… but then again don’t want another food I’m hooked on!

  11. Charles says:

    Fabulous looking calzone – I never tried, to this day, a calzone. I have an idea in my head of something incredible sounding, like this one, or the one from that Seinfeld episode. Whenever I’m in a pizzeria they serve them with only cheese and tomato and maybe a bit of ham. Ick :(

  12. Eva Taylor says:

    Hi Katherine, I have never had a calzone! I’d seen them in Seinfeld before and I’d always thought it was more or less a pizza pocket. This is an interesting combo of flavours, but then again sausage and cheese are a sure fire win!

    • katherine says:

      We don’t have them often because we don’t normally have ricotta in the house. We love it, it’s just one of those special buys not a staple. We just had a thing of mascarpone for another dish I knew I wasn’t going to get around too and all that pumpkin. Greg likes tearing out those seeds!

  13. niasunset says:

    WOW! Thank you dear Katherine, I want to fly there… Seems so delicious. Have a nice weekend, with you both, with my love, nia

  14. sallybr says:

    I just realized I haven’t made a calzone in 3 years! Not even sure why, but clearly, I must get to it this Fall. Love your take on the filling…

  15. afrankangle says:

    To be honest, no calzone has ever been found in our kitchen, BUT, you provide an interesting twist! Interesting blend of fall veggies with Italian flavors. Isn’t wine an interesting substitute much of the time? :) One glug in the pan – One glug for the glass. Well done!

  16. ceciliag says:

    OO this is a wonderful simple, yet delightful recipe, I am a sucker for sausages and will be making my won again when we do a pig next year. This is a great idea. And I am all for the ‘More Cheese More Better’ c

  17. Chef Scar says:

    Sounds yum! I love calzones, but have never considered making one until reading your post. On my list of things to do now. Good of you to cook for the chef as well.

  18. zestybeandog says:

    Very fall-esque! Sounds great!

  19. spicegirlfla says:

    I’d call these Pumpkin Calzones!! Yumm…. I love the combination of pumpkin with sausage, they just magically go together wonderfully. Great idea for a calzone filling and a perfect game day food! How nice for you Katherine that you come home to dinner cooked by Greg!!

    • katherine says:

      Lately we’ve been getting home at the same time, but he’s still more of the cook. I went to make something I’ve seen him make dozens of times the other night and had to call him and ask how! (Peas and pasta, not sure if your family does that.)

  20. I used to make calzones on Friday nights when my kids were young, but just the pizza-kind…this is grown-up food!
    Great idea!

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    Yeah, this is not the calzone I used to get with da boys after a night carousing. Good thing, too. It would have been totally wasted on us. This recipe puts those to shame! Have a great birthday, Katherine, and safe travels for your both! :)

    • katherine says:

      Thank you. Two more weeks! We normally do ours more pizza style and Greg blends some marinara for dipping. I was planning on ordering pizza if this didn’t turn out.

  22. These look fun! The inclusion of turnips is different. Sounds good.

  23. crustabakes says:

    AAwww, Greg seemed so sweet! You two make such a cute cooking couple !

  24. Kelly says:

    Loving this fall version of calzone and I’m totally impressed that you pulled it off so beautifully when not feeling 100% – totally envious of your chef partner :)

  25. Perfect for now! I love this and thank you again. Neat how you included the caramelized onion from a previous post. Semolina flour? Will have to look for that.

  26. Sausage, mascarpone and caramelised onions – this is a luxury five star calzone. Deeeelicious!

  27. Kristy says:

    I hope you’re feeling better. I totally feeling like calling in today too. I’m impressed, but not surprised, you pulled off such a detailed recipe not feeling well. I’ve never actually had turnips, not sure if I would like them or not. I suppose there’s only one way to find out. And, yes more cheese is always good with calzones. mmmm!

    • katherine says:

      They’re not very expensive so they’re a good thing to try. Try them with other things first, they’re probably not for everyone or for every dish. I feel fine now, but thanks. I hope you feel better too.

  28. egg me on says:

    Great idea! It totally looks like fall inside that calzone. I could wolf that down in a second.

  29. Joanne says:

    Katherine this looks SOOOOOOOOO good!!! Love everything in here!

  30. Any calzone is a good thing and this one looks great!

  31. Luck me that we just received turnips in our latest CSA delivery. :-) Looks great.

  32. a savory way to use pumpkin! I love it! The filling sounds fantastic with the garlic and basil. You even upped the anty by throwing in the sausage- the more the merrier to me. NO calazone is complete without sausage

  33. i’ve been away from your blog for a while, and just got back to it. what a coincidence that i have been looking for a great calzone recipe! yay! THANK YOU! WILL be trying these!

  34. These look great! I’ve never tried making calzones before – will have to add that to my list!

  35. rumpydog says:

    Oh Dog! That looks delicious! Well, except for the onion part. I think I’ll see if Jen might wanna make this for me sometime.

  36. randommanda says:

    Another great recipe! I love that both you and Greg are so creative and have the most gorgeous pictures of your edible creations!

    When I am looking for something to wow my guest, I come to your blog! :)

  37. nancyc says:

    That calzone looks so yummy, Katherine! And I agree–more cheese can never hurt! :)

  38. rsmacaalay says:

    More cheese is best specially with baked goods

  39. Karen says:

    What do they say,,,necessity is the mother of invention. Your creation sounds delicious.

  40. These sound really delicious Katherine, I’m definitely going to try this for dinner this week sans sausage obviously. I love squash & cheese together and I’ve just bought some Haloumi, might have to be a Cypriot calzone :D I love a bit of fusion!!

  41. This looks like what would be found in the dictionary next to the word delicious!

  42. I love the combination of ingredients. My kids like simple ingredients but this definitely is up my alley! Perfect for Monday night football!

  43. This looks good but of all the foods out there, turnips are the one thing I don’t like since childhood and probably the only food I don’t like. I think it’s because my dad grew turnips and we had them a lot when I was a child.

    • katherine says:

      We didn’t grow up in the South, although my parents are from Georgia and Tennessee. So I think we didn’t have a chance to tire of these ingredients. I consider turnips Southern anyway. My mom used to make small batches of fried green tomatoes and fried okra because the kids wouldn’t eat them. Can you imagine? Anyway, she hated turnips and once as a girl came home and saw a big bowl of mashed potatoes on the table. She sneaked a bite. Well wouldn’t you know, it was mashed turnips!

  44. I made an adapted version of these a few nights ago and loved them! They are definitely on the to-be-repeated recipe list!

  45. canalcook says:

    Turnip and pizza, I love it!

  46. I’m making a veggie version of these tonight… excited, never made calzone before!

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