Thursday, September 3, 2009

Three Cheese and Spinach Calzone

This is a little bit of an unusual dish and meant more as a special treat for a hearty lunch or simple dinner as the main ingredient is cheese. I am talking about Calzone. A calzone is an Italian dish of a baked stuffed pizza dough. I have filled it with three different kinds of cheese, spinach, garlic and basil. The crust is the standard 13.8 ounce canister of refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust Classic. This is another recipe that is quick and easy to make and will become a family favorite. It is a lunch or dinner depending on your appetite as each calzone makes six portions. Serve this with a one quarter cup portion of Mario Batali's Marinara Sauce for dipping, adding just 3 grams of carbohydrate and a 1 1/2 cup portion of a side salad with a tablespoon of your favorite fat free salad dressing and you will have rounded this dish out and have used all food exchanges for your meal. Just to make sure you don't go overboard choose lean proteins for your other meals during the day you make this recipe.
Three Cheese and Spinach Calzone
1 - 13.8 canister Pillsbury Pizza Crust Classic
12 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese or shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (grated Parmesan is fine also)
1 - 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all water squeezed out
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 egg
Preheat oven to 400'.
Roll pizza dough out to a 14" by 16" rectangle on a large sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the ricotta and Pecorino Romano cheeses, spinach, 1 tsp. of the basil and the garlic. Blend well. Spoon the mixture evenly on the bottom half of the crust leaving a 1/2" border for sealing the crust. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly across the cheese mixture. Fold the top half of the crust up and over the mound of cheese and spinach and pull to the edges. With thumb and forefinger twist and pinch the crust from end to end to seal completely. Make three small slits in the crust to allow steam to escape while cooking. Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl and add the remaining basil. Using a pastry brush lightly coat the top of the calzone with the egg mixture for a dark golden brown crust. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is a nice dark golden brown color and the cheese is bubbly. Let calzone rest for about 5 minutes and then cut into six equal portions. The easiest way to cut this is with a serrated or electric knife. First cut the calzone in half and then cut each half into three equal pieces.
Nutrition Information
Yields Six Servings
Each 1/6 serving
Calories 355.1
Total Carbohydrate 37.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
  • Sugars 4.2 g
Total Fat 13.2 g
  • Saturated Fat 7.2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 72.7 mg
Sodium 785.6 mg
Potassium 236.5 mg
Protein 22.4 g
Note: If you don't like spinach feel free to substitute another vegetable such as roasted red peppers, artichokes, etc. Just make sure that the vegetables are cooked and not "wet" or it will make your crust soggy instead of crispy. Use a total of 1 1/2 cups cooked vegetables.

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