I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Forgive me Rachael

I felt sort of bad about bashing Rachael Ray in my last post, so I thought I'd make it up by paying homage to a few more of her recipes.

The Spinach Artichoke Calzone is a great recipe that can be tweaked to accommodate any combination of ingredients that you want to use for filling ~ make them vegetarian or load them up with your favorite Italian meats. I was a little short on artichokes but had some sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoni on hand so I tossed those in as well. I picked up prepared pizza dough from the deli section of the grocery store instead of the tube variety and used it to make four huge calzones. After baking and cooling completely, these store well in the freezer.

Have fun and let your imagination run wild!

Rachael Ray's Spinach Artichoke Calzones
Makes 4


* 2 cups part skim ricotta
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated or a few pinches ground
* A few grinds black pepper
* 1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano, plus extra, for sprinkling
* 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
* 1 (15-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 2 (10-ounce) tubes refrigerated pizza dough
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella
* 2 cups tomato sauce, marinara or pizza sauce, for dipping or Five Minute Spicy Marinara, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Roll each pizza dough out on a cookie sheet, and halve each cross-wise. Spread 1/2 cup mozzarella and up to 1/4 of filling on each rectangle. Work on just half of the surface of each rectangle of dough, then fold dough over top of filling and pinch edges firmly to seal. For a half-moon "pizza parlor" look to your calzones, mound filling into a half-moon shape, fold dough over top trim edges of dough to follow the rounded shape, then seal edges.

If your dough tears, remove a little of the filling and repair. Repeat the process, spacing the calzones evenly on baking sheet. Bake the calzones for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown all over. Serve calzones with warm tomato or pizza sauce for dunking.

Rachael's Note: Freeze any remaining filling in a small plastic container and use it to stuff a chicken breast on another day.

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