I've had butternut squash on pizza and in pasta, so when I was making some calzones and had squash on hand, I thought why not try squash in there? Yummy! They are just the kind of comfort food you want on a cold fall evening. I like the calzones stuffed with just squash and cheese, but they're even better with a little sausage thrown in. Between the leeks, squash, cheese, and sausage there are such rich, warm flavors going on, I pretty much skip any seasoning beyond salt and pepper. —fiveandspice
4 large or 6 smaller calzones
1 1/2 teaspoons
active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons
2 1/2-3 cups
all purpose flour
sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
medium butternut squash
leeks, cleaned, and white and light green parts sliced thinly
garlic clove, peeled and minced
freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere (or another pungent cheese that suits your fancy)
each, salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the dough, mix the honey into the warm water, sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is starting to foam.
tir in the salt and stir in flour a half cup at a time until the dough is thick enough to form into a shaggy ball. Using a floured hand, knead the dough in the bowl for a few minutes, incorporating a little extra flour into the dough if it’s too sticky to handle. Then brush a little olive oil on the dough and cover the bowl with a clean cloth.
ither let the dough rise for about 2 hours in a warm place, or place in the refrigerator and allow to rise for 8-12 hours (or even longer is fine) (I much prefer this method, as the dough develops better flavor, plus it allows you to get all this done the night before and basically forget about it until the next evening when you think to yourself, "hey! I have dough to make calzones with tonight!".) If you have let the dough rise in the refrigerator, take it out and let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour before baking with it.
Preheat your oven to 425F. Cut your squash in half, lightly oil the cut halves and place them (cut sides down) onto a baking sheet (leave the seeds in for now). Roast in the oven for 45 min - to an hour until soft and easily pierced by a fork.
Remove the squash from the oven and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Then scoop out and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh from the skin. Put it into a bowl and mash it up with a fork and the half tsp each of salt and pepper.
In a large frying pan, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add sausage and fry, breaking apart into smaller chunks, until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon into a bowl and set aside.
Add about a Tbs. of olive oil to the frying pan, then add the leeks and garlic. Turn the heat down to low-medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has gotten nice and brown. I'd say about 7-10 minutes.
Combine the squash, leeks, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl, mixing well.
Preheat your oven to 450F. Punch down your dough, and using floured hands, divide the dough into 4 or 6 equal pieces (depending on if you’d like slightly larger or smaller calzones). On a floured surface, roll each piece out into a circle about ¼ inch thick.
Place about 1/2 or ¾ cup of the squash filling (depending on if you're making smaller or larger calzones) on one half of each circle, leaving about ½ inch edge around it. Sprinkle one-fourth or one-sixth of the sausage on top.
Use wet fingers to moisten the edge of the dough circle then fold the empty side over the top to form a half circle shaped pocket and either crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to press them together and roll them inward just a little into a rolled edge. Use a fork to make some little pricks in the surface of the dough.
Repeat with the rest of the dough circles. Arrange the calzones on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and browned. Brush each with a little olive oil or melted before during the last 5 minutes of baking to make them extra golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve accompanied by a salad and some warm tomato sauce for dipping, if desired.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.