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Playing Florentine Meatball Calzones with Creamy Tomato Dipper


  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung of excess water
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, half grated and half finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated, divided
  • 2 large eggs, 1 lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup (about 3 handfuls) breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 handfuls) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • A few grates fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 10-ounce tubes refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 14.5-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (you can use regular tomatoes if you have them on hand)
  • 1/4 cup (a handful) basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


Serves: 4 servings




Preheat oven to 425F.



In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the spinach, ground turkey, grated onion, half of the garlic, 1 egg, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, mozzarella, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Work the mixture together with your hands until combined and set aside.



Spread one of the pizza doughs out onto the counter. Cut in half widthwise and in thirds lengthwise, making 6 squares. Take a handful of the meat mixture (about 1/4 cup), shape into a meatball and drop it onto the corner of one of the squares. Continue in this way until there's a meatball on each square.



Brush the edges of each square with a little of the beaten egg and fold the opposite corner over to close in the meatball and make a calzone. Fold and press the edges to seal the meatball inside. Brush the tops lightly with egg. Repeat with the remaining meat and dough and arrange all of the calzones on a baking sheet. Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes.



While the calzones are baking, place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chopped onion and remaining garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan with the basil and simmer the sauce until thickened up a bit, 2-3 minutes, turn the heat off and add the cream.



Serve three calzones to each person with the spicy tomato dipping sauce alongside.