Pepperoni Calzones

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Dinner, Main Course American/Italian
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 55 minutes Cooking Time: 20 Minutes Total Time: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

Thick, rich tomato and meat sauce with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, enveloped in pizza dough to make a handy pizza pocket. It's a Calzone!


  • Meat Sauce
  • 4 Italian Sausages, casings removed
  • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine
  • 1 28-oz. Can of Whole Tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 5-10 Garlic Cloves, frozen
  • 5-7 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 2-3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
  • 2-4 Fresh Tomatoes, cut into large pieces
  • Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pepperoni Calzones
  • 1 1-lb. Pizza Dough Ball, at room temperature
  • 2 cups Grated Mozzarella
  • Thick Cut Pepperoni
  • Olive Oil



Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Position the oven rack to the center-top position.


Brush a tablespoon of olive oil on the surface of a rimmed sheet tray. Set aside until we are ready to bake the calzones.

Meat Sauce


In a Dutch oven or large pot, over medium heat, brown the sausage, breaking it up into large chunks as it cooks.


Once browned, add the onion slices. Sauté until softened slightly, then deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.


Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.


Add whole cloves of garlic along with black pepper and a pinch of Kosher salt.


Bundle the fresh herb sprigs and tie with kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot.


Add the fresh tomatoes. Stir and let simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit, then turn off the heat.


Add the splash of balsamic vinegar, stir and taste for seasoning. Add more Kosher salt and pepper if desired.

Pepperoni Calzones


On a lightly floured surface, use a bench scraper to cut the dough ball in half and reshape each piece into a circle.


Use a rolling pin to roll doughs out to 9-inch rounds.


On one side of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border, spread a layer of mozzarella.


Add several pieces of pepperoni and top with more cheese.


Spread a ladle-full of the meat sauce on top and add another layer of cheese.


Brush water on the 1-inch border on the toppings-side of the dough.


Lift and fold the empty side of the dough over the filling and press the ends together.


Brush a little more water on the seam edge and fold the seam over itself and crimp the half-moon edge.


Place the calzone on the oiled sheet tray and use a paring knife to make two, one-inch cuts in the top of the calzone.


Repeat process with the other calzone.


Brush both calzones with olive oil and bake on the center-top rack for 20 minutes, until the crust is browned.