Spicy Pepper & Ricotta Calzones with Cucumber & Romaine Salad

Spicy Pepper & Ricotta Calzones

with Cucumber & Romaine Salad

55 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s golden-crusted calzones feature a vibrant filling made with creamy ricotta and two kinds of peppers. We're using mini sweet peppers and peperoncini, whose pickled flavor perfectly complements the brininess of Kalamata olives. For a refreshing complement to the calzones, we're serving a salad of romaine and cucumber. (Chefs, when slicing your sweet peppers into rings, you can simply pluck out the ribs and seeds with your fingers.)

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & season the ricotta:
1 Prepare the ingredients & season the ricotta:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 475ºF. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Cut off and discard the stems of the sweet peppers; remove and discard the ribs and seeds, keeping the peppers intact. Thinly slice into rings. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives. Remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop. Cut off and discard the peperoncini stems; cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; roughly chop the leaves. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Start the peppers:
2 Start the peppers:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and sweet peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened.

Finish the peppers:
3 Finish the peppers:

To the pan, add the tomato paste and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark red and fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened and the peppers are coated. Turn off the heat. Stir in the olives and peperoncini; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble & bake the calzones:
4 Assemble & bake the calzones:

Lightly oil a sheet pan. Divide the dough into 2 equal-sized portions. On a clean, dry work surface, using your hands and a rolling pin (or a wine bottle), gently roll and stretch the portions into ¼-inch-thick rounds. (If the dough is resistant, let rest for 5 minutes.) Divide the seasoned ricotta between the centers of the rounds; evenly top with the finished peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Fold each round in half over the filling. Using your fingers or a fork, press or crimp the edges of the dough to seal completely. Carefully transfer the calzones to the prepared sheet pan. Lightly drizzle the tops with olive oil. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes.

Make the salad:
5 Make the salad:

While the calzones bake, to make the dressing, place the vinegar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the romaine, cucumber, and feta cheese. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the baked calzones and salad between 2 dishes. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients & season the ricotta:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 475ºF. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Cut off and discard the stems of the sweet peppers; remove and discard the ribs and seeds, keeping the peppers intact. Thinly slice into rings. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives. Remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop. Cut off and discard the peperoncini stems; cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; roughly chop the leaves. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 Start the peppers:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and sweet peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened.

Start the peppers:
Finish the peppers:
3 Finish the peppers:

To the pan, add the tomato paste and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark red and fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened and the peppers are coated. Turn off the heat. Stir in the olives and peperoncini; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Assemble & bake the calzones:

Lightly oil a sheet pan. Divide the dough into 2 equal-sized portions. On a clean, dry work surface, using your hands and a rolling pin (or a wine bottle), gently roll and stretch the portions into ¼-inch-thick rounds. (If the dough is resistant, let rest for 5 minutes.) Divide the seasoned ricotta between the centers of the rounds; evenly top with the finished peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Fold each round in half over the filling. Using your fingers or a fork, press or crimp the edges of the dough to seal completely. Carefully transfer the calzones to the prepared sheet pan. Lightly drizzle the tops with olive oil. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes.

Make the salad:
5 Make the salad:

While the calzones bake, to make the dressing, place the vinegar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the romaine, cucumber, and feta cheese. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the baked calzones and salad between 2 dishes. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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