Calzone Napoletano, Classic Neapolitan Calzone, is a pizza folded in on itself, stuffed and oven-baked, and crescent-shaped. The end result, a wonderfully crisp-edged pizza, tough encasing delightful creamy ricotta enticed with morsels of salami and mozzarella. Now that's Italian!
Calzone Napoletano, Classic Neapolitan Calzone. Classic Italian street food at its best. This is one that you would find in Naples. The richness of flavors will wow your taste buds and will consequently transport you to a culture rich in tradition and food!
I truly can say I have experienced this city in Italy. The people are very charismatic and the dialect very infectious! There are many dishes in Napoli that are delicious and can be found on the streets ready for the taking. Fried pasta, pizza, pizza fritta, and a sweet that any person that has visited this wonderful city will rave about, hence la sfogliatella!
However, there is one more that always gets such attention and that is the Calzone! Similar to what we call a pizza pocket and so much more! Just hearing it being said, oozes Italian, and fortunate enough for you, today Nicoletta and I are going to take you on the journey of making Calzone Napoletano, Classic Neapolitan Calzone!
I have wanted to make Calzone for a very long time. One time close to Rome we were at a friend's place making pizza and one of the pizzas stuck to the paddle and was messed up a bit. We decided to fold the dough over covering any entanglement that had occurred, however, I can truly say it was close but not a Calzone.
Consequently, my desire to make this wonderful regional fair was ignited, and finally, after several years of wanting, it has come to fruition!
What you will need:
One main ingredient of course is pizza dough. You can use store-bought, however, we have a great recipe for a wonderful dough here. Don't be scared, it is so easy, even easier if you have a food processor or stand mixer with the hook attachment! Other ingredients are as follows:
For the filling:
- Italian salami (we used soppressata, traditionally you would use 'salame Napoli')
- mozzarella or bocconcini, cubed
For the top:
- pizza sauce
- mozzarella, cubed
- freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino
- basil leaves
That's it, pretty easy, right? Come with us, we are going to take you the steps and have some fun in the kitchen. Furthermore, we are going to get to taste it which is going to be amazing!
Step by step
Nicoletta and I will take you on a step by step starting with this:
- Firstly we have to stretch our dough. Oil up a pizza pan, we prefer the steel ones to the aluminum. They heat up better and ensure a crispy crust. When stretching the dough, work from the center out to the edges. However, Calzone needs a bit thicker crust in the middle as it has to hold those lovely ingredients, so make sure you leave the middle a bit thicker and work the edges a bit thinner to the outside.
- Secondly, we spread some ricotta on half of the round, followed by sprinkling the salami we cut into nice pieces on top of the ricotta.
- Thirdly, we finish with breaking up fresh basil leaves and adding morsels of mozzarella, and our first phase is done!
- Now the fun begins, first, take the edge of the dough without the toppings and fold it over the one with the toppings. Carefully now, we don't want to break the dough.
- Press the seam together, furthermore, I used the end of a pizza cutter to press on the outside edge. We don't want that to break open and spill all those lovely filling out! Some people ask about finishing the edge by twisting the dough, however, in true calzone-style, it is done like this, and it is not meant to look like an empanada.
- With a knife we cut some breather holes, three to be exact, allowing the steam to escape.
Time for the toppings!
You are probably wondering why are we putting the topping on top of this Calzone. Well, this is how it is done in Napoli and when in Naples...! I love it and I think you are going to love it too!
- So, now we spread some pizza sauce, not too much, just enough for color. Following this, some nice grated Parmigiano (or Pecorino) is sprinkled on, and also morsels of fresh mozzarella.
Last but not least, the final phase!
Finishing touches of fresh basil are added and this puppy is going into a pre-heated oven to get all crispy, gooey cheesy good!
The aroma emanating from the oven is fantastic. I can smell the Parmigiano and basil. The wonderful aroma of the tomato pizza sauce combined with the salami, total mouth-watering yum factor!
Let's taste it!
I cut the Calzone in half and I look into the middle. It is like heaven. Soft cooked dough meets creamy warm ricotta, basil, and nicely rendered salami. The outside reveals crispness and that topping so beautifully melted and colorful. Time to bite in, furthermore using the two-handed street food technique!
Wow, there is this nice crunch as my teeth sink in. However when I penetrate the outside and into the center of this marvelous creation, I am met by the softest rich dough playing delightfully with the creamy ricotta, salami, and that gooey mozzarella! The topping offers a sweet punchy sauce accompanied by fragrant whiffs of basil and lots of caramelized cheese.
I think we are always looking for different ideas and sometimes coming up with ones that will please everyone especially kids would be tough.
That is why we do the things we do, to inspire everyone to try different things and this Calzone Napoletano, Classic Neapolitan Calzone, is no exception. I think the kids would love this and it could be vegetarian if you want, by omitting the meat! Give it a try, and send us a note with your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!
- 1 pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
- 3 tablespoon ricotta
- ¾ cup mozzarella, diced (divided ½ for inside and ½ for on top)
- 50 g salami, sliced thin and chopped (we used soppressata)
- 6 basil leaves (3 for inside and 3 on top)
- 2 Tbsp tomato pizza sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano or Pecorino
- Pre-heat oven to 420°F/215°C convection (lower 10 degrees in a regular oven)
- Oil a 12-inch round pizza pan. Take the dough and spread it out into the pan and work it from the center out. Make sure to keep the middle a bit thicker and the outside edge thinner.
- Take the ricotta and spread it on half of the dough. Sprinkle with the salami pieces, followed by the basil and lastly mozzarella.
- Take the edge of the dough without the filling and bring it over the side with the filling, matching up the edges. Press the seam well and I used the end of a pizza cutter to punch down the seam creating a nice corrugated seam.
- Cut three breather homes in the top to allow the steam to escape.
- Take the pizza tomato sauce and spread over the top leaving the border clean. Sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano, mozzarella, and basil.
- Place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Watch it once the top has melted and starts to turn golden and the crust also, it is time to take it out.
- Drizzle with a bit of e.v.o. oil and it is ready to be served. Cut however way you want, in half in quarters, it is really up to you!
Use a nice steel pan so you get that crisp crust. The aluminum ones don't seem to heat up enough.
You can make it vegetarian if you want by omitting the meat.
Be adventurous and create your own flavors of Calzone, just take into consideration fillings that would be too watery and moist.
You can use store-bought dough if you don't want to make your own.
Add around 3 hours if making your own dough considering it has to proof.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Main, Pizza
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Calzone, ricotta, mozzarella, pizza sauce, Italian street food, Naples, fresh basil, parmigiano reggiano
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.