A Colorful Calzone for the 4th of July

Step out of the box on this 4th of July with a colorful and comforting Mixed Vegetable and Sausage Calzone.

Calzone con Verdure Miste
From “The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine
by the International Culinary Center with
Cesare Casella and Stephianie Lyness
Serves 4

1/2 cup eggplant
1/3 cup yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup red bell pepper
1/3 cup zucchini
1/3 cup asparagus
3/4 cup red onion
1/3 cup plum tomato
2 1/2 ts. chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. pork sausage meat, sweet or spicy
Pizza dough (can purchase from local pizzeria or grocery store)
Cornmeal or Semolina, for dusting
1 2/3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
1 large egg beaten, for egg wash
Coarse salt

1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Center a rack in the oven.
2. Cut the eggplant, peppers, and zucchini into sticks, about 1 by 3 inches, set aside.
3. Cut the asparagus – if the stalks are thick, quarter them lengthwise and cut into lengths the same size as the vegetables – if the stalks are thin, cut into lengths without quartering. Slice the onion into rings. Cut the tomato into thin wedges.
4. In a large bowl, toss all of the vegetables with the thyme, 3 tbs. of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast until the vegetables are softened and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, leave the oven on.
5. In a skillet, cook the sausage in the remaining 2 tbs. of olive oil over medium heat, breaking it up into very small pieces with a spoon, until the fat is rendered and the sausage is cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the fat, discard. Add the sausage to the bowl with the vegetables and stir to combine.
6. On a lightly floured work surface, stretch one of the dough balls over your knuckles to a thin round, slightly larger than for an individual pizza, or roll with a rolling pin. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper dusted with semolina or cornmeal.
7. Place about 1 cup of the vegetable/sausage mixture on the bottom half of the dough round, leaving a border around the edge. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the mozzarella and 2 tbs. of the Parmigiano. Drizzle with olive oil.
8. Brush the bottom edge of the dough with some of the egg wash. Fold the top half over the filling and crimp the edges to seal. Prick the top of the calzone to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the calzone with some of the egg wash or olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to the sheet pan and bake until the crust is crisp and well browned, about 10 to 11 minutes. Enjoy!

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