Category Archives: Italian

Caprese Stuffed Tomatoes

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Instead of making the usual Caprese salad by layering fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil together, I decided to try something different. I scooped out the tomato guts, sautéed them with garlic, olive oil and basil. I then removed the guts from the heat and added breadcrumbs (to soak up the excess liquid) and shredded mozzarella cheese. And then I stuffed the guts back into the tomatoes, topped with more breadcrumbs and cheese, and baked them for between 20-25 minutes. They make a great side dish, or even a main dish since they are filling enough to stand on their own.

I’m going to be very lax on the amount of ingredients. I used enough breadcrumbs to soak up the excess tomato juice, so use the correct proportions to balance it for yourself.

Caprese Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 7 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • breadcrumbs
  • salt

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Scoop out tomato guts and reserve for filling. Sauté guts in pan with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic and pinch of salt on medium high heat for a few minutes. Take off heat, add enough breadcrumbs to soak up excess tomato juices. Combine with a handful of cheese.

3) Stuff the guts back into the tomatoes, sprinkle with more breadcrumbs and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Place tomatoes on baking sheet (with lip), and bake in oven for approximately 20-25 minutes until bubbling. Serve.

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Calzones.

 

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Making calzones couldn’t be easier. The fillings can be versatile, just like making pizza. I stuffed mine with pepperoni, basil and mozzarella, and served it with some spicy marinara sauce. You can also make it with sausage and peppers, cauliflower and cheese, sausage and cauliflower, spinach and ricotta, etc. Or stuff it with your favorite pizza toppings. After adding the filling onto the dough, seal the edges tightly, crimp them with a fork, brush egg yolk on the top (to get that crispy brown surface) and make a few slits with a knife (so they don’t explode in the oven).

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Two rules I follow when I make calzones: 1) if I use 1/2 pound dough per calzone, I try to use around 1/2 pound of toppings inside (or less). I don’t have exact measurements for the fillings in my recipe. 2) I don’t add sauce or fresh tomatoes inside the calzone. Sauce/tomatoes always end up leaking out and creating a mess.

They work great as a lunch to take to work too. I mean, wouldn’t you rather take this than a cold sandwich?

 

Calzones (makes 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • pepperoni slices
  • mozzarella
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1 egg yolk

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Dust the pizza dough with some flour to prevent it from sticking to your hands. On a baking sheet, divide the pound of dough in half and stretch into circles. Place fillings on each half of the dough, and fold over to seal the edges. Crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the tops of calzones with egg yolk, and using a knife, make 4 slits onto the tops of the calzones.

3) Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until browned. Let cool for 5 minutes and cut into slices. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dust the pizza dough with some flour to prevent it from sticking to your hands. On a baking sheet, divide the pound of dough in half and stretch into circles.

Don’t worry if your circles of dough aren’t perfect looking, as you can see, mine aren’t. As long as you’re not puncturing holes or anything you’ll be fine.

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Place fillings on each half of the dough, and fold over to seal the edges. I first added a handful of pepperoni to each –

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followed by a handful of basil and handful of mozzarella.

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Crimp the edges with a fork.

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Brush the tops of calzones with egg yolk, and using a knife, make 4 slits onto the tops of the calzones. The cheese will bubble out of the slits, but not that much. Slitting the dough helps release the steam getting built up inside the calzone.

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Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until browned. Let cool for 5 minutes and cut into slices.

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Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

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