Escarole Calzone: Calzone di Ricotta e Escarola
- 1/4 cup light red or white wine, such as Fiano del Avellino
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large head escarole, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons very small capers, rinsed 3 times in water and drained
- 4 salted anchovies, finely minced
- 1 cup Gaeta olives, pitted but left whole
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups fresh ricotta
- Salt and pepper
To make the dough: place the wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add the honey, salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. Add 1 cup of flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a loose batter. Add 2 more cups of flour and stir with the spoon for another 2 to 3 minutes, to incorporate as much of the flour as possible.
Bring the dough together with your hands and turn it out onto a floured board or marble surface. Knead for about 6 to 8 minutes, until you have made a firm, smooth dough. Place it in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl and cover it with a towel. Let it rise in the warmest part of the kitchen for 45 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and knead it into rounds. Let rest 15 minutes.
For the filling: bring 3 quarts of water to boil.
Remove leaves from escarole head and rinse of all sand and dirt. Drop the leaves into the boiling water and cook until tender, about 8 to 9 minutes. Remove, drain and allow to cool. Stack the leaves, cut them into 1-inch thick ribbons, and set aside. In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat oil over high heat until smoking. Add garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until light golden brown. Add the capers, anchovies, olives, currants, and pine nuts and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until garlic is dark golden brown. Add the escarole and stir until well mixed. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Gently stir in ricotta and season mixture with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and place a clean pizza stone in the oven to preheat.
Dust a clean work surface lightly with flour. Take the first of 4 rounds of dough and flatten it with your fingers and palms until it is about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick and oval-shaped, and about 10-inches across. Place one 1/4 of the escarole mixture in upper part of center of the rolled dough. Fold the dough to form a half-moon, then seal the edges. Repeat this process with the other 3 pieces. Place each piece on the stone in the oven and cook 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve. This dish is often served at room temperature, but can be eaten fresh from the oven.
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