Main Dish

Sausage and Broccoli Calzones

Sausage and Broccoli Calzone served with spaghetti sauce and salad

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 lb plain or whole-wheat pizza dough*
  • 3 c grated mozzarella
  • 2 c chopped broccoli
  • olive oil
  1. Prepare dough according to package instructions.  Let the dough sit, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes before following the recipe instructions.
  2. Cook the Italian sausages; slice.
  3. Shape the dough into four 8″ rounds.
  4. Dividing evenly, top half of each round with the sausage, mozzarella, and chopped broccoli; fold over the dough and seal.
  5. Place on an oiled baking sheet; brush with olive oil.
  6. Bake at 425F until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

*If frozen, thaw it beforehand according to the package directions.

Like Salami and Spinach Stromboli, this recipe is another one of Real Simple’s ’10 Ideas for: Pizza Dough.’  Unlike Salami and Spinach Stromboli, this recipe was a disaster.  At least it was a disaster in my hands.

First, how on earth does anyone cook sausage?  I had the worst time cooking this sausage and experienced a similar problem recently cooking chorizo (stay tuned for recipe and story).  With these big links of sausage, the outside cooks all too quickly and the inside stays forever raw.  My pan ends up scorched at the end and I hope that the meat is cooked all the way through.  If not, I get to add even more time than what I’ve just spent to my recipe by putting it back on to cook more and hope that does the trick.  Attention anyone who has ever had success cooking sauasge in a timely and thorough manner – help!

My sausage. As you can see I had to cut it up while cooking it to try to get it to cook through.

Then, I took the ‘grated mozzarella’ a little to literally.  When grated is called for and I can’t readily find it, I settle for shredded.  For whatever reason my mind was not working this way when I was shopping for this recipe.  I couldn’t find grated mozzarella so I picked up a ball to grate it myself.  Have you ever worked with a ball of mozzarella?  Wow, I now know why I couldn’t find grated mozzarella.  Mozzarella is very hard to work with.  It’s gooey and slippery and incredibly soft.  I know I’ve given the advice before of just tossing softer cheeses in the freezer for a bit before working with them.  Mozzarella is beyond that simple fix.  All-in-all, just use shredded mozzarella for this!

Some of the ingredients used.

As for the dough, I did the same thing I did with the Salami and Spinach Stromboli recipe.  I used instant, didn’t let it sit for fear for drying out and I don’t think it made as much as was necessary.

Calzones (with the ripped and torn dough) baking.
Calzones fresh from the oven.

In the end, I ended up with too many ingredients and too little dough.  The holes make my dough shortage pretty apparent, eh?  I like to think of them as battle wounds because of how big a pain this dish was for me.  If I made this recipe again, and that’s a huge if, I would add more mozzarella.

After all of that frustration, the dish was only so-so.  I hope, should you take a stab at this recipe, that learning of my struggles better prepares you.  Be sure let me know how you fare.

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