Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Calzones.... with chicken, spinach & artichokes

The recipe I am sharing today is a recipe I adapted from a Rachel Ray cookbook. While I find Rachel Ray's recipes to be really tasty, they are usually really involved and require a lot of ingredients.  So I want to warn you up front this recipe will take some time to plan and prepare, but I've made a few tweaks to it to make it easier and it is definitely tasty and was well worth our time.  We've been eating a lot of spinach lately because it's high in folic acid, so when I saw this recipe for a Spinach & Artichoke Calzone, I thought why not add some chicken and we can make it a full meal.

To start with this recipe you make a Artichoke & Walnut pesto so I had to break out my food processor.  (I love it when I can use some of our wedding gifts.)
Ingredients for Artichoke & Walnut Pesto:  4 oz. Watnut pieces, 15 oz can of Artichoke hearts, drained, 1 large garlich clove, zest of one lemon, 1 T. of parsley flakes, 1/2 grated parmigiano-Reggiano, a dash of pepper and salt, 1/4 tsp. grated nutmet and 1/3 cup EVOO.

Directions: In a food processor, combine walnuts, artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper and nutmeg.  Pulse the ingredients until chopped.  Turn the processor on and stream in EVOO in a slow stream until the pesto forms.
As you can see this makes a really creamy pesto which you could also use sometime seperately on pasta for another meal all together.

Next we make the rest of the Calzone filling to add the pesto to.

Calzone filling ingredients: 4 cups recotta cheese, 2 (10 oz) boxes of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrong dry and artichoke & walnut pesto.  (You will also need 2 cups cooked chicken in pieces, 10 oz. shredded Italian cheese and 2 tubs of fresh pizza dough and a sprinkle of flour.)

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the pesto and the ricotta.  Add the spinach, pulling it apart as you add it to the bowl, then mix into the ricotta and pesto.
Now for the Calzone dough; simply take two tubes of pizza dough and cut each into two pieces.  Dust hands with flour and work each piece of dough into a circle 6 or 7 inches in diameter.  Pile one fourth of the ricotta filling on each half of the dough.  Top with 1/4 of the chicken pieces and 1/4 of the cheese.
Fold the dough over and seal at the edges.  Brush the calzone lightly with EVOO and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until even and golden and crisp.
This recipe makes 4 calzones and will serve 4 people a large portion of food.  We really liked the flavors of the calzone filling and thought the chicken and extra cheese really improved the flavor of the meal.

When I make this recipe again I will probably use a rolling pin to roll out my dough to get a thinner more consistant crust.  I would also probably half the filling as I stuffed these calzones as full as I could make them and still had a good 1/3 of the filling left over.  Luckily, I just used the filing to make stuffed pasta shells and froze them so we will have a freezer meal to eat sometime later this weekend, so if you find yourself with extra shells or ravioli would be a great way to use up the leftovers.
This post was linked to:  Melt in your Mouth Monday on Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, 2 Maids a Baking on 2 Maids a Milking, Tasty Tuesday on Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, Hearth N' Soul, Made from Scratch Tuesday on From Mess Hall to Bistro, It's a Blog Party33 Shades of Green, Trick or Treat Tuesday with Inside BruCrew Life,  and NapTime Creations Tasty Tuesday Party.


Lisa said...

Mmm...this sounds great! Does the baby like veggies? : )

MM said...

Visiting from Hearth & Soul.
These look great. Spinach is one of my favorite things!

Alea Milham said...

These look wonderful! Thanks for sharing this incredible recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Chantel said...

This sounds delish! Thanks for the idea--I was wondering what to make for dinner... :)

Emily said...

Hi! I'm featuring this at this weeks Tasty Tuesday party!! Come on over and grab a featured button. http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

These sound so good! Love the walnut and artichoke pesto too! Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.