Calzones with Arugula Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce

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For all my almost 50 years of marriage, I have planned meals and menus, usually a week ahead.  That doesn’t mean we don’t change the menus around or decide to do something different, but I like this method because it allows me to consider what I have in the pantry or freezer, what is currently growing in the garden or available from the CSA vegetable shares we have picked up. I can more efficiently budget and shop, so I think it saves time and money as well.  But this delicious meal happened because I realized that I had far more arugula than we were going to use in salads before it went bad. Arugula is one of those greens that have become so popular but it wasn’t even listed in any receipe in cookbooks from the early years of my menu planning.  It is a peppery green and is delicious raw in a variety of salads, cooked as an accompaniment to fish or pasta, and as it is used here, in pesto.  I liked using walnuts rather than pine nuts  This pesto can be used to drizzle over grilled meats or pasta.

Calzones with Arugula Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce

16 ounces pizza dough – make your own, or use frozen dough that has been thawed and brought to room temperature

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, heated in small sauce pan – I used a spicy jarred sauce.

Arugula pesto, recipe below

1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella or Italian 4-cheese blend cheese.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to about 1/4 inch thickness on floured tea towel.  Separate into 4 parts.  Roll each part into a circle and place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spread a thick layer of pesto on one half of each circle and top with  3 Tablespoons finely grated mozarella or Italian 4-cheese blend.  Fold  each circle over to make calzone.  Pinch edges together, roll and crimp to seal. Bake about 18 minutes, or until crust is done and nicely browned.

Ladle marinara into small sauce bowls and serve alongside calzones for dipping. If you have extra arugula pesto, freeze and use for pasta or your next pizza!

Serves 4

Arugula Pesto

2 cups packed arugula
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic,peeled and rough chopped
Sear salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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Process arugula, oil, parmesan, nuts, and
garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; season
with salt and pepper.

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