Mini Sausage & Artichoke Calzone

Calzone is a very popular side or main dish, so I have adapted it for appetizer bite-sized portions. It's very flexible; you can dress it up or down. You can give the piggy in the blanket the night off this holiday.

Calzone comes from the Italian word meaning “trouser leg” (plural: calzoni) but it looks more like a turnover. Calzone is made from pizza dough and stuffed with many toppings you would use on a pizza. As one story goes, peasants found it messy to carry pizza into the fields for lunch, so some enterprising cook came up with the idea of folding the pizza in half and cooking it that way.

Mini Sausage & Artichoke Calzone

From George Hirsch Living it UP! TV series |

Makes four-six hors d'oeuvre servings

one recipe, George's Pizza Dough (or store bought), divided into two pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
8 ounces Italian sausage, cooked & chopped
1/4 cup artichoke hearts - canned or frozen, chopped
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
fresh ground black pepper

1 cup Tomato Sauce
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.

Flatten out both pieces of dough into rectangle shapes.  Cut both pieces of dough into three to four pieces depending on how small you want to make your Calzone. A good rule to follow is to make them one bite size.  

Keeping filling off the edges, layer each piece of dough with a teaspoon of mozzarella, sausage, Parmesan cheese, artichokes, and black pepper. Brush inside edge of dough lightly with water.  Fold over the dough into a pocket and seal edges.  Pierce the dough with the point a small knife with three small holes to allow steam to escape.

Brush outside of Calzone with olive oil and place on a baking pan or pizza stone.  Calzones can also be baked on pre-heated bricks that are set in oven or on a medium temperature grill surface.  

The calzones will bake in about 10-12 minutes. 
To check doneness, the bottom of the calzone will have a hollow sound when tapped with your finger.

Serve tomato sauce on side.

Tip: Sausage and artichokes can be substituted with cooked spinach broccoli flowers, mushrooms, or ham and your imagination.