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Florentine Meatball Calzones with Creamy Tomato Dipper


  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach (10 ounces), defrosted and wrung of excess water

  • 2 pounds ground turkey

  • 1 small onion, half grated and half finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated, divided

  • 2 large eggs, 1 lightly beaten

  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (about 3 handfuls)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 2 handfuls)

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • A few grates fresh nutmeg

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tubes refrigerated pizza dough (10 ounces each)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces), you can use regular tomatoes if you have them on hand

  • 1/4 cup basil (a handful), chopped

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the spinach, ground turkey, grated onion, half of the garlic, 1 (unbeaten) egg, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, mozzarella, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Work the mixture together with your hands until combined and set aside. Wash your hands after handling the raw poultry. Spread one of the pizza doughs out onto the counter. Cut it in half widthwise and in thirds lengthwise, making 6 squares. Take a handful of the meat mixture (about 1/4 cup), shape into a meatball and drop it onto the corner of one of the squares. Continue in this way until there's a meatball on each square. Wash your hands again after handling the raw poultry. Brush the edges of each square with a little of the beaten egg and fold the opposite corner over to close in the meatball and make a calzone. Fold and press the edges to seal the meatball inside. Brush the tops lightly with the egg. Repeat with the remaining meat and dough and arrange all of the calzones on a baking sheet. Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes. While the calzones are baking, place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chopped onion and remaining garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan with the basil and simmer the sauce until thickened up a bit, 2-3 minutes, turn the heat off and add the cream. Serve three calzones to each person with the spicy tomato dipping sauce alongside.

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