Our two favourite Calzones!

I know we already have a calzone post, but these two recipes are tried and true. We even served them at a dinner party!

My wife has perfected dough making and has it so fast now! You can use store bought dough or short crust pastry sheets for ease, but probably not bases as they are too hard to fold.

Anyway, we have the following two: Spinach, feta and sun dried tomato and Salami, chorizo and mushroom!

Spinach, feta and Sun dried tomato: 

You will need: 

  • Dough for two people
  • Fresh spinach
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella
  • Can of tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper
  • Large frying pan with oil
  • paprika
  • Tomato paste

Method:

  • Preheat oil in frying pan and add salt, pepper and paprika
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees fan bake
  • Can of tomatoes and reduce down a bit
  • Add spinach and coat in tomato.
  • When spinach has wilted down, take off the heat
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then add sun dried tomatoes and mix in
  • Roll out your dough, spread out tomato paste with a 2cm gap from the edge.
  • Sprinkle on feta and mozzarella over tomato paste area
  • When warm/cold, add spinach mixture to left half of calzone
  • Fold up empty half and crimp the edge.
  • Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes

Salami and Chorizo 

You will need:

  • Dough for two people
  • Salami
  • Chorizo
  • Mushrooms
  • Mozzarella
  • Tomato paste
  • Bit of oil, salt pepper & paprika

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees, fan bake
  • Chop slice salami, chorizo and mushroom and set aside.
  • Roll dough and spread tomato paste around, leaving 2cm gap from edge
  • Add toppings to left half, then mozzarella and fold, crimping edges
  • In a bowl, mix a bit of oil with salt, pepper and paprika
  • Lightly add oil over calzones
  • Bake in oven for 8-10 mins

Two Easy Paella Dishes

Serves many – at least 4, really depends on how much you put in it.

The hardest thing about Paella is deciding whether to pronounce it wrong as pie-ella and everyone know what you mean or say pie-aya and everyone stare blankly at you. Say it how you will, here are two yummy recipes – one vegetarian and one meaty.

A very filling dinner, but I have included in lunches as this is something you can make on Sunday and have and reheat for a few days as lunch. 

Meaty Paella: – because I am afraid of not cooking seafood right

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Paella rice (500g)
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1 can tomatoes (flavoured is fine)
  • 1x capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 1/4 bag frozen peas
  • 2x chicken breasts
  • 1 pack chorizo sausages
  • 100ml red wine (optional) 
  • cumin, paprika, salt&pepper
  • 12 button mushrooms (6-8 if large)
  • dash cooking oil/butter

You will need: 

  • large frying pan & spatula
  • chopping board & sharp knife
  • sink with warm water for washing hands after handling raw meat

Method: (prep time: 5-10 minutes; cook time: 25-30 minutes)

  • Add oil/butter frying pan with some salt & pepper. Set aside
  • Thinly slice capsicum and mushrooms, set aside
  • Slice chorizo sausages into approx 1cm chunks and set aside
  • Place frying pan on medium-high heat. Dice chicken and add to pan
  • Cook chicken until sealed (approx 5 mins). Add capsicum and mushrooms
  • As they soften, add wine (if using), tomatoes and peas and stir for 30 seconds
  • Add rice, chorizo, cumin and paprika, stirring constantly, then add stock
  • Keep on medium-high heat while stirring for another 10 minutes
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes until most of the juice has soaked up.

If paella starts sticking to the pan, reduce heat and add a bit of water for the rice to soak up. 

Vegetarian Paella:

Ingredients:

  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 12 button mushrooms
  • 1/4 bag frozen peas
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1/4 pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 large red chilli
  • 1 box paella rice (500g)
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • paprika, cumin, salt & pepper
  • dash cooking oil/butter

You will need:

  • large frying pan & spatula
  • chopping board & sharp knife

Method: (prep time: 10 minutes; cook time: 20 minutes)

  • Add butter/oil and salt& pepper to frying pan and set aside
  • Thinly slice capsicum and courgettes; halve mushrooms and dice chilli
  • Peel pumpkin/squash and cut into thick chunks
  • Add frying pan to medium heat and add capsicum, chilli and peas
  • As they soften, add tomatoes and chickpeas and stir around
  • Add paprika, cumin, rice, courgettes and mushrooms and stir
  • Finally add vegetable stock and keep stirring for about 5 minutes
  • As the stock soaks up, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until rice is soft

If paella starts sticking to the pan, reduce heat and add a bit of water for the rice to soak up. 

 

Pasta with Creamy Bacon and Peas

Serves 2-3

This meal is excellent comfort food. The cream really soaks up the crispy bacon flavour and it just feels like home. As usual, use whichever pasta you have lying around.

Note: if your sauce cooks before the pasta, just take it off the heat for a bit until the pasta is ready to be added. 

Ingredients: 

  • 150g bacon, diced
  • However much past you usually use.
  • 1/4 – 1/3 bag frozen peas
  • 150 mls cream
  • salt and pepper

You will need:

  • 1 deep saucepan & wooden spoon
  • 1 large frying pan & spatula
  • 1 chopping board & sharp knife
  • sink with warm, soapy water for washing hands after handling raw meat

Method: (prep time: 5mins; cook time: 10-15 mins)

  • Boil 500ml water and add to saucepan on medium heat. Add pasta. (10 mins)
  • Add butter, salt and pepper to frying pan and melt on medium heat.
  • Roughly dice bacon and add to frying pan.
  • After two minutes, add peas and stir steadily for about 5 mins.
  • As peas turn vibrant and soften, add cream. (lower heat if it reduces too quickly)
  • When pasta is cooked, drain and add to sauce, stirring until evenly mixed.
  • Serve straight away.

 

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Serves 2

This recipe follows the same idea as our creamy mushroom toast, but is more of  a dinner thing. Use whatever pasta you prefer, or have around. A linguine or tagliatelle would probably work best, but spirals would be just as tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 12 large button mushrooms, halved
  • 150 mls cream
  • however much pasta you normally use
  • handful of spinach, chopped
  • 100g bacon, diced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • pinch of oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • knob of butter

You will need:

  • 1 large frying pan & spatula
  • chopping board & sharp knife
  • deep saucepan & wooden spoon
  • sink with warm, soapy water for washing hands after handling raw meat

Method: (prep time: 5 mins; cook time: 10-15)

  • Boil 500ml water and add to saucepan. Add pasta, cook on medium heat for 10 mins.
  • Add butter, salt, pepper and oregano to frying pan.
  • Chop mushrooms in half and slice spinach into small strips. Set aside.
  • Roughly dice bacon and add to frying pan on medium heat. (5 mins)
  • Add mushrooms and spinach along with 1 tbsp soy and balsamic vinegar.
  • Stir around until mushrooms start to soften and spinach wilts. (3 mins)
  • Add cream and stir steadily. If sauce reduces too much, lower heat. (2-3 mins)
  • When pasta is soft, drain and add to frying pan, mixing into the sauce.(1 min)
  • Serve when sauce is even around pasta.

Calzones

Serves 2.

These portable pizzas are a great take on a delicious dish and again, are inherently versatile. Originally a way to use up leftovers, they can contain anything, really. I’ve outlined the method below, with some house favourite recipes after that.

These recipes use dough outlined here. We used to just use short-crust pastry sheets but the recipe is easy as. Both work, though. 

Method: 

  • Preheat oven fan bake 220 degrees C.
  • Grate your cheese (unless pre-grated of course!)
  •  roll dough into a circle.
  • Spread tomato puree over your base, leaving 2cm gap from the edge.
  • Add your toppings and cheese on one half only.
  • Fold empty half over the top and join edges together, by pinching the dough and folding up.
  • Bake in oven for 10-15 mins until golden brown.

Hawaiian: – Love pineapple or hate it, this is a classic pizza

  • 5 slices of ham, diced
  • 2 rings of pineapple cut into small chunks
  • tomato puree
  • grated cheese (mozzarella and/or cheddar)

Meat lovers: – This one is filling, beware!

  • 2 -3 sliced pork sausages (cooked in frying pan and let to cool enough to touch)
  • 5 slices of ham, diced
  • 4 slices salami, sliced
  • Tomato puree
  • grated cheese (mozzarella and/or cheddar)

Mince and veges: – A bit of effort beforehand

  • 1/8 pack mixed veges
  • 200g mince (beef or lamb)
  • grated cheese (mozzarella and/or cheddar)
  • tomato puree
  • Fry up some mixed veges with mince until browned.
  • Add tomato puree and mix well.
  • Spread tomato puree over base and add mixed veges and mince mixture
  • Follow the method as above.

Four Cheesons: – I couldn’t resist the pun. I am so sorry.

  • Mozzarella
  • Brie/Camembert
  • Cheddar/Colby
  • Your favourite blue cheese
  • Tomato puree

Spinach and ricotta: – The classic veggie calzone. Ingredients make 2 calzones

  • 280g spinach
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella grated (or cheddar/colby, whatever you have)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the filling, in a medium bowl, mix the spinach and ricotta together until they are evenly distributed. Follow method as usual.

Pesto pasta with cheese

Serves 2

It’s not fancy or different, but it is tasty and versatile – perfect on a cash and motivation budget. It is also very versatile – adding ham, cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts or tuna can really spice it up and add some much needed protein.

Ingredients: 

  • pasta – use your favourite kind and however much you normally use. (if you cook too much, you’ve got leftovers for lunch tomorrow)
  • 3 tbsp pesto
  • grated cheese
  • 4 slices of ham diced (optional) OR 1 can of tuna (optional)
  • handful of pine nuts (optional)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

You will need: 

  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Saucepan lid/colander to drain pasta
  • small frying pan (for pine nuts)

Method: (takes 5-10 mins)

  • Boil 500ml water, add to sauce pan with pasta and turn element to medium-high heat. (5-10 mins)
  • Stir Occasionally to prevent sticking and meanwhile:
  • Halve cherry tomatoes and set aside.
  • Dice ham / drain and flake tuna and set aside.
  • Grate cheese.
  • Place pine nuts in frying pan on medium heat, stirring until brown (2-3 mins)
  • Test pasta and once cooked, drain and add pesto, stirring thoroughly.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and serve quickly while hot.

Quesadillas

A fully customisable favourite food. Quick, easy and super cheap!
You can use anything for a filling really, so here are a few house favourites:

Method 

  • Preheat oven to grill at 180 degrees
  • Spread your sauce over one tortilla.
  • Sprinkle with cumin/spice (optional)
  • Add your fillings with 1.5-2cm gap from the edge.
  • top with cheese and press the second tortilla atop.
  • Place in oven for 5 mins each side until crispy.

Ham and cheese – Not very traditional but very tasty!

Ingredients

  • 4x tortillas per person
  • grated cheese
  • ham
  • pesto and/or tomato paste
  • cumin/spices (optional)

Tuna – A crispy take on the tuna melt.

Ingredients 

  • 4x tortillas per person
  • grated cheese
  • 1x can tuna (will make approx 4 quesadillas)
  • tomato paste
  • mayonnaise
  • cumin/spices (optional)

Follow the method above, but first flake the tuna and mix with mayonnaise.

Chicken and apricot – A bit more effort but good for left overs.

Ingredients 

  • 4x tortillas per person
  • grated cheese
  • shredded chicken (perfect for left over roast or a rotisserie chicken)
  • cream cheese
  • diced apricot/apricot sauce

Add your cream cheese as a base, top with apricot sauce or lightly browned diced apricots.