Friday 28 September 2012

Friday Feast - Beef and spinach calzones

I can almost hear some folk running away with cries of 'Ack!' at the thought of spinach - bit like Marmite, you love it or you hate it :( I reckon you could just leave the spinach out though.

Annie reminded me today that it's a while since I posted a recipe on here - I blame holiday and other things getting in the way - but this recipe has been waiting to be written up for a few weeks now. To see Annie's yummy risotto recipe for today - hop over here.

I happen to know that someone very close to this blog is lucky enough to have her lovely hubby make home made pizza most Friday evenings as a start to the weekend - how fab. is that then?! I adore pizza too, although, given a choice when we go to a Pizzeria I often plump for calzone. Think I must be a pasty girl at heart :) This is the first time I've tried making these at home - and they were a great success with my 'in-house food critic'.

Beef and spinach calzones:
Without kneeling on the floor it was hard to photograph the filling, sorry :)

Serves 4 (with leftovers)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
500g pack beef lean steak mince
250g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
50g toasted pine nuts (a quick toasting in a small dry frying pan works fine if they aren't already toasted)
250ml passata
1 tablespoon tomato purée
100g bag young leaf spinach
150g Italian mozzarella ball
2 x 145g packs pizza base mix
1 medium egg, beaten, for brushing
40g bag wild rocket, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion for 1 minute, then add the mince and cook for a further 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes, adding the pine nuts for the final 2 minutes. Add the passata and tomato purée and simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced to a thick sauce. Season with freshly ground black pepper, then stir through the spinach and set aside to cool. Drain the mozzarella ball, tear into pieces and stir into the cooled mince.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC, fan 180ºC, gas 6. Lightly oil a baking tray. Make up the pizza base mix according to pack instructions. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then knead each into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into circles, each measuring about 18cm in diameter.

Using just half of the mince mixture (see tip on what to do with the rest), spoon a quarter of it into the middle of each circle. Brush the edges of the dough with a little water, fold over to form a crescent and crimp the edges together with your fingers to seal.

Brush the tops of the calzones with the beaten egg, then bake for 20 minutes, until golden and heated through. Serve with the rocket salad on the side.
  You only need half the mince filling for this recipe. Let the rest cool completely and keep in the fridge to have as a pasta sauce for lunch the next day. Or, buy an extra 2 packs of pizza dough mix and make another 4 calzones. Freeze uncooked. Cook from frozen at 200ºC, fan 180ºC, gas 6 for 30-40 minutes, until piping hot.

I made two large calzones - which disappeared in the blink of an eye. Mind you, we couldn't move afterwards! The other half of the filling is frozen on its own for another time.

Things I would do: I think the filling could have done with an extra bit of passata adding towards the end of cooking time, it's a balance between it not running all over the place when you make up the calzones and being moist enough. But, they were truly delicious.




  1. MMMMMMMMMMMM . . . they LOOK and SOUND delicious. Might have to get the Friday Night Chef to make these instead . . . just for a change!

    Thanks Di xxxx

  2. I am sat here eating pizza reading your gorgeous recipe for calzone lol. They look stunning. Hugs, Amanda x

  3. Ooh yummy yummy....thats a must try recipe Di esp when you have a bread maker to make the pizza dough with.
    A x

  4. Hi Di,

    Oh, I do likes the sound of this! I love spinach - raw in salads, lasagne, yep, and now in a calzone! I'm a pasty girl too!!!!! (Aren't you impressed that I know what they are?)

    There's one ingredient that I don't know what it is -- passata?

    Work was terrible this week. I owe you an email - will get one off soon.


  5. Thanks for the recipe Di, I am in the 'love spinach' camp. Will need to give this recipe a try soon, sounds delicous

  6. Spinach lover here...raw, it all.
    These sound yummy...will print the recipe and try it once I am cooking agin.
    Sadly, this is beyond DH's skills comfort will be spagetti, chili, steak and jacket potatoes, baked chicken and jacket potatoes over and over for me, for 3 or 4 weeks.
    hopefully then, i will want to cook again and it will be a nice time to try this!

  7. Another scrumptious recipe, Di. The EM is not a spinach enthusiast but he might be persuaded to eat it this way - I keep telling him greens are good for him :)) I like the idea of using the leftovers with pasta. Hugs, Elizabeth, xx

    PS: sorry to disappoint but I won't be sending Alan down to you ...for once it wasn't he was doing the painting! It was me being crafty ... I'd been flicking drops of pink and brown paint, artfully of course, on a couple of scrap page bases and was waiting for those to dry before I could continue with the layouts.

  8. Oooh these sound really spinach! I have missed your recipe postings Di, was only thinking that yesterday when I made your Lemon Drizzle af

  9. Well believe it or not I don't mind spinich and especially like it in salad. But I don't like mince so I substitute any recipe with mince for Quorn and that goes down fine. Don't think hubby would be too keen on these but I will look out for them next time I go to an Italian.
    Have a great weekend, well if you get one between all the snippets commenting.

    Kath x

  10. Mmmmmmn! My Friday chef made us lovely omelettes tonight!! I only made chocolate Vicky sponge and stout, chocolate and marscapone cupcakes and did the ironing!!
    Have a good weekend!


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