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.
- 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.
- 3 cups unbleached white flour
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp yeast dissolved in 3/4 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.