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Carnival Calzone

  • 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Medium
  • Bread, focaccia, pizzas
A sweet and savory calzone that is a perfect treat during the Carnival season.
Puglia

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ½ oz butter
  • 3 ½ oz sugar
  • ¼ oz baking powder, in powder
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ½ lb Minced veal meat
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¾ oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1 Scamorza cheese, fresh
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

In a bowl, mix together the flour with 3oz and the yeast. Form a well with the dry ingredients. In a bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk. Pour eggs in the center of the well. Also add the softened butter. (It is recommended that you remove the butter from the fridge 30 minutes before you begin cooking.)  Mix well to form a smooth, soft dough.

Then, roll out 2/3rds of the dough using a rolling pin until ¼ inch thick. Line a round baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough on top.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the meat and, as soon as it is browned, add the eggs whisked together with the grated cheese. Mix well and cook for another 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat.

Sprinkle the dough with half of the remaining sugar, then fill with the meat. Level off the meat and cover with ricotta. Place thinly sliced scamorza on top of the ricotta and finally cover with the remaining dough, rolled out until thin.

Seal the calzone around the edges, then poke holes in the dough using a fork. Brush with the remaining egg yolk.

Bake in a 350° F oven for about 20 minutes or until the top of the calzone is golden and crisp.

Food History

Carnival is a Christian celebration leading up to the period of Lent and concluding on Fat Tuesday. Celebrated throughout Italy, Carinval is most actively and colorfully celebrated Venice and Viareggio. Carnival festivities have very ancient religious origins and are probably even tied to ancient Pagan rites, when wizards wore masks to scare off evil spirits. However, Carnival is more commonly associated with the huge parties that used to take place in Ancient Rome between October and March in honor of the father of all the gods: Saturn.  During these parties called saturnali, slave-owners and slaves would switch roles and a “King of the Party” would be elected. This tradition is still carried out in some parts of Italy. According to Livio, born in 263 AC, the festivities often lasted up to fifteen days. It is precisely this Pagan tradition that was absorbed by the Christian religion, toning down the celebration.  During the Middle Ages, Carnival came to be known as the “party of the crazy people,” during which time exaggeration was the name of the game. People generally ate huge meals, gearing up for Lent. Also during the Middle Ages, the habit of cross-dressing and putting on costumes to look like famous people took hold. The height of the Carnival celebrations took place in Florence during the Renaissance, when the Medici family, would organize trionfi, or huge parades and masked balls.

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