(Mini) Sausage and Cheese Calzones with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3/4 pound Italian sausage, casing removed (I use chicken sausage, so it's healthier)
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Italian cheese blend
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3 sprigs thyme, stemmed and leaves chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 pizza dough (from Trader Joe's or a local pizzeria)
Preheat a medium-size skillet with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Once the skillet is hot, add the sausage and break it up into small pieces. Cook until brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the garlic, the cheeses, thyme and lemon zest, and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the reserved sausage to the bowl and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Roll out the pizza dough. Cut into 4-8 equal pieces, depending on how large you want your calzones. With a rolling pin, roll out each one into a circle. Working on just half of the surface of each circle, divide the filling equally between the calzones. Fold the other half of the dough over the top of filling and pinch the edges firmly to seal.
Transfer the calzones to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake the calzones for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown all over.
Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove chopped garlic
1 can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup basil (a handful), chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream