Spring Asparagus & Ricotta Calzones with Arrabbiata Dipping Sauce & Butter Lettuce Salad

Spring Asparagus & Ricotta Calzones

with Arrabbiata Dipping Sauce & Butter Lettuce Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 40 min
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    4 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 800 Cals/serving

Chefs, tonight you’ll be making a Neapolitan specialty: calzones. We’re stuffing our calzones with a winning combination of fluffy ricotta, Parmesan and sautéed asparagus, then baking them until browned and perfectly crispy. For dipping, a zesty arrabbiata (or spicy tomato) sauce adds a touch of heat and acidity to cut the richness of the cheesy filling. Our side salad of tender butter lettuce gets a gourmet lift from the anise notes of fresh tarragon.

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the dough from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Snap off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus; cut into 2-inch pieces on an angle. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and finely chop the shallot to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra); place in a bowl with the juice of all 4 lemon wedges.

Cook the asparagus & make the filling:
2 Cook the asparagus & make the filling:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the asparagus and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese and half the Parmesan cheese. Stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Assemble the calzones:
3 Assemble the calzones:

Divide the dough into 4 equal-sized portions. On a clean, dry work surface, using your hands, gently stretch the portions into ¼-inch-thick rounds. (If the dough is resistant, let rest for 5 minutes.) Divide the filling between the centers of the rounds; fold each round in half over the filling. Using your fingers or a fork, press or crimp the edges of the dough to seal the calzones.

Bake the calzones:
4 Bake the calzones:

Drizzle a sheet pan with olive oil. Carefully transfer the calzones to the prepared sheet pan; drizzle or brush 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. Transfer to a serving dish.

Make the dipping sauce:
5 Make the dipping sauce:

While the calzones bake, in the pan used to cook the asparagus, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the remaining garlic 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, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce; season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened and heated through. Transfer to a serving dish.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the sauce simmers, season the shallot-lemon juice mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tarragon and remaining Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette). Toss to mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the baked calzones and dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the dough from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Snap off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus; cut into 2-inch pieces on an angle. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and finely chop the shallot to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra); place in a bowl with the juice of all 4 lemon wedges.

2 Cook the asparagus & make the filling:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the asparagus and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese and half the Parmesan cheese. Stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the asparagus & make the filling:
Assemble the calzones:
3 Assemble the calzones:

Divide the dough into 4 equal-sized portions. On a clean, dry work surface, using your hands, gently stretch the portions into ¼-inch-thick rounds. (If the dough is resistant, let rest for 5 minutes.) Divide the filling between the centers of the rounds; fold each round in half over the filling. Using your fingers or a fork, press or crimp the edges of the dough to seal the calzones.

4 Bake the calzones:

Drizzle a sheet pan with olive oil. Carefully transfer the calzones to the prepared sheet pan; drizzle or brush 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. Transfer to a serving dish.

Bake the calzones:
Make the dipping sauce:
5 Make the dipping sauce:

While the calzones bake, in the pan used to cook the asparagus, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the remaining garlic 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, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce; season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened and heated through. Transfer to a serving dish.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the sauce simmers, season the shallot-lemon juice mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tarragon and remaining Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette). Toss to mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the baked calzones and dipping sauce. Enjoy!