Spinach Artichoke Calzones

Calzones….I honestly didn’t even know what calzones were before I made this recipe. I knew they were Italian and sort of like pizza, but that’s it. One thing that I did know was that Rachael Ray must love the combination of spinach and artichoke because the past couple recipes have been centered around those two ingredients. I had been getting sick of artichoke, but was still hopeful that this recipe of Spinach Artichoke Calzones would be delicious.

I was out of town all weekend so this adventure started on Tuesday at Trader Joe’s. I was pretty happy to begin with because my grocery list was the shortest it has ever been! I was also actually so impressed with Trader Joe’s this time because they had every single ingredient…except for tubed pizza dough, but I kinda figured they wouldn’t have that.

After I made it through the notorious mile-long line at Trader Joe’s, I headed to Fairway. Fairway didn’t have tubed pizza dough either, so I made my way to Whole Foods. I was disappointed yet again because Whole Foods didn’t have tubed pizza dough either. I was absolutely exhausted at this point and wanted Chipotle, so I decided to finish food shopping on Wednesday at Gristedes.

Fast forward to Wednesday (today), and I head into Gristedes around 1. Even they didn’t have tubed pizza dough, so I just got pizza dough that wasn’t tubed, even though it pained me. I’m really weird with following directions; The book said tubed so I just really wanted the dough to be tubed.

I came home and let the spinach and dough thaw while I was at class, and then at 6:30 Nicolette came over and we got to cooking.

Making the filling was oh so easy. The hard part was taking care of the dough. First off, the dough was still frozen, so we had to put it in the microwave for a bit, which made it a bit sticky. We needed a rolling pin, but had no idea what to use since I didn’t have one. River stopped over and he suggested using a wine bottle. I still had some wine from a few recipes ago left over so I grabbed that bottle and got rolling.

The bottle didn’t do much for me, so Nicolette took over. Her Italian blood came out and turned her into a calzone super woman because she was a pro at this. She stuffed each one to perfection and even made them look pretty. Go Nicolette, you da bomb.

We threw our little creations…wait I take that back, they were HUGE creations…into the oven and let them bake. We had to flip them around every once and a while, and two of the calzones were almost history when we did that (I almost dropped them…there was a lot of screaming going on every time we flipped them). It said to bake them for about 15 minutes, but it was more like a half hour.

We took them out of the oven and Nicolette burned her finger on one of the pans…which was kinda funny (sorry Nicolette). We sat around a bit to wait for them to cool, then we attempted to transfer one to a plate, which was near impossible. I’m telling you, these things were so massive and hot that it took us about 10 tries to successfully move one of these monsters to a plate.

Finally we got one on a plate, and decided to split it. Cutting the calzone down the middle was beautiful. All of the cheese just oozed out…I thought I witnessed heaven. We heated up some pizza sauce for dipping, then it was time for the moment of truth.

3…2…1…Oh…my…God…. there are no words for how delectable and heavenly this calzone was. I would’ve devoured it in a matter of 10 seconds if it still wasn’t scolding hot. The dough was fluffy, and still just a tad bit doughy. The filling was perfection, and the pizza sauce was a delightful touch. This was just the thing we needed to get us through the rest of midterms week.

Without a doubt, this recipe deserves ♥♥♥♥♥ (5) hearts. We both agreed that this is up in the ranks with the pasta with pumpkin & sausage. Everything about this was perfection. My room mate, Alexis, tried one also, and she was speechless. She ate with a big smile plastered across her face. I have so much filling left over as well, so I’m going to be making this again very soon…you know it’s a good recipe when I plan to make it again, since I never make a recipe twice.  Perfetto, Rachael Ray, Perfetto!

Until next week!

-Mary Honkus



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