Gram’s Calzone, use a store bought or homemade pizza dough, stuffed with shredded mozzarella and Italian sausage then rolled sprinkled with more mozzarella and then baked to cheesy perfection. The perfect appetizer or main dish.
In early 1900’s my maternal grandfather emigrated to Canada from a little town in the South of Italy. He married a my grandmother a woman named Amelia, who was of Italian descent but born in Canada.
For 13 years I was able to enjoy all the wonderful food that my grandmother would cook. And cook she did, and bake! From Angel Food Cake to Cream Puffs! But this calzone was something we will always remember!
- Pizza dough – either store bought or homemade
- Italian sausages – either mild or spicy
- Fennel seeds –
- Paprika – I use regular paprika
- Egg – one large egg
- Mozzarella – firm shredded mozzarella, better to shred it yourself then use the packaged stuff
What are fennel seeds?
Fennel seeds are the dried seeds of the fennel plant. Fennel is a flowering herb that belongs to the carrot family. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is now cultivated in various parts of the world.
Fennel seeds are identified by their oblong, ridged shape and pale green to brownish color. They have a sweet, slightly licorice tasting flavor with a slightly nutty undertone. These seeds are commonly used as a spice and a flavoring agent in various cuisines around the world, particularly in Mediterranean, Indian, and Middle Eastern cooking.
How to make Gram’s Calzone
In a medium frying pan sauté the sausage, fennel (if using), salt and paprika until brown, drain off the fat and let cool.
When cool mix together with the raw egg and mozzarella cheese.
Roll the pizza dough into a rectangle and place on a lightly greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprinkle with the sausage cheese mixture.
Another way to make it
Sometimes my grandmother would make it another way, instead of rolling the dough she would place one layer of dough on the bottom of an 8 inch square pan add the filling and then place a second layer of dough on top.
I actually made it her way at the beginning, although the Italian liked it, he also said “too much dough”.
Different Calzone Filling
Sausage could be substituted with pancetta, bacon, pepperoni or you can leave it out and substitute with another vegetable such as chopped onion, mushrooms or fresh spinach. You could even use grilled vegetables. Or add some olives, artichokes or even baby arugula leaves.
You could substitute the mozzarella cheese or use half and half with provolone, gouda, fontina or even parmesan cheese.
Calzone or Stromboli
The way my grandmother made her’s is the way to make a traditional calzone, since the stuffing is in the middle sandwiched between the dough. Usually though it is stuffed with tomato sauce and mozzarella, an inside out pizza!
The way my cousin makes it is a typical Stromboli, which is rolled. And an interesting fact, a Stromboli was invented in the 1950s in the United States.
So I started making this Sausage and Cheese Calzone the rolled up way and yes my husband agreed that this was the perfect
How to store leftover calzone
Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, it will keep for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. You can re-heat it in the oven or in the microwave. Be sure not to leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours.
To freeze the baked calzone, let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. It can last in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can microwave or heat in the oven from frozen or thawed, until warm.
My Gram’s Calzone with Cheese and Sausage makes the perfect alternative to a regular Pizza night! Buon Appetito!
Gram’s Calzone with Sausage and Cheese
- 1 pound store bought pizza dough
- 2-3 Italian sausages (large) (remove the casing, approximately 2 cups chopped)
- ½-1 tablespoon fennel seeds (optional)
- 1-2 pinches salt
- 1-2 dashes paprika (or you can use a dash or two of hot pepper flakes)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (firm)* (divided)
*Best to shred it yourself and not use the packaged stuff.
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F° (200C°) degrees.
- In a medium frying pan sauté the sausage, fennel (if using), salt and paprika until brown, drain off the fat and let cool in a clean bowl.
- When cool add to the meat mixture, the raw egg and mozzarella cheese (1¾ cups/200 grams).
- Roll the pizza dough to a rectangle (9×10" / 24×26 cm) and place on a lightly greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet, sprinkle the top of the dough with the sausage cheese mixture. Roll up lengthwise, brush the top with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining shredded mozzarella.
- Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until browned. Let sit 2- 3 minutes then slice and serve. Enjoy!
Updated from February 6, 2018.