Meat Free Monday: Mushroom Calzone

Right, here we go with the second Meat Free Monday.  A delicious and super quick (you see I’m running with a theme here) recipe from one of my most used cook books - Jamie at home. You’ve got to love Mr Oliver.

So, learning from the poor planning of my first attempt, which resulted in Meat Free Tuesday, you’d think I would have prepared this Monday’s recipe meticulously, well you’d be wrong. Monday morning came and I thought to myself hmmm, what’s readily available in my plentiful pantry?  I took a look and unfortunately I was looking more like Mother Hubbard than a domestic goddess (please do not judge me here, having returned from holiday just hours before on Sunday it’s understandable that ‘the cupboard was bare’ right? I am usually 9 times out of 10 a domestic goddess *cough*) However, I took stock of what I did have; some mozzarella, ready-made pizza dough and a jar of passata, see where I’m going here?! A quick dash to the supermarket on lunch to scoop up some exotic mushrooms and spinach and hey presto a tasty treat in under 40mins.

It’s a simple dish, yet the flavours are delicious. The mushrooms smell amazing whilst cooking and when the calzones come out fresh from the oven they look like giant Cornish pasties, but with a sumptuous surprise lurking within. Cut the calzone down the middle and watch the generous mixture ooze out, it’s enough to make you go weak at the knees!

Unfortunately only the 1 picture this week, my phone was occupied performing a highly important task – keeping Master Henry out from under my feet. Again, don’t judge me here; 9 times out of 10 remember?

The sumptuous calzone filling

You will need:

• 1 ready-made pizza dough mix (completely cheating here, but I will use the age old excuse of ‘working mum’ to justify this one!)

• 500g mixed mushrooms (such as girolles, shiitake, enoki and chestnut), cleaned and torn up

• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

• 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked

• 50g butter

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 100ml Passata

• 300g spinach leaves, washed and spun dry

• 2 x 125g balls of good-quality mozzarella, torn into pieces

To Prepare:

1.    Preheat the oven to full whack, then roll out your dough and arrange into 4 pizza bases.

2.    Pour a large lug of olive oil into a hot frying pan. Add the mushrooms and toss briefly in the hot oil before adding the sliced garlic and the thyme. Fry until the mushrooms are cooked and smell fantastic. Drop in the butter and toss the mushrooms in it to make them tasty and shiny. Season with a little salt and pepper.

3.    Add the passata to the pan and stir. Cook for a few minutes, then add the spinach (in batches if you need to) and stir again. Simmer away the liquid until you’re left with a thick, tasty mixture that’s not too moist (otherwise it will burst through the dough when you’re cooking the calzone).

4.    Divide the mushroom and spinach mixture evenly between the four pizza bases and spread it out nicely. Top with pieces of mozzarella and season with salt and pepper. To make your calzone, carefully lift the far edge of the pizza dough and pull it over the top towards you – you basically need to fold it in half (imagine it looking like a big Cornish pasty!). Crimp the edges so none of the filling can spill out. Place the calzone side by side on a floured baking tray (use two if you need to), pizza stone or granite slab.

5.    Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on the bottom of the preheated oven until the dough is puffed up and golden on top and the filling is hot.

I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

M X

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