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Calzones with Italian Sausage, Fennel and Fontina

Calzones are a fun spin on your traditional pizza. The addition of kale adds wonderful texture, flavor and color to this dish. Unless you have a tried and true recipe for pizza dough, fresh store bought dough works beautifully.

Ingredients:Calzones with Italian Sausage, Fennel and Fontina
  • 1 lb pizza dough (fresh store bought works great)
  • 1 1/2 cups slow roasted tomatoes or 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes from a jar (drained)
  • 3/4 lb Italian Sausage
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb - cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion - thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 T fresh herbs - thyme, rosemary, sage or a mixture
  • 2 garlic cloves - chopped
  • Pinch of red chili flakes + more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups fontina cheese - shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • 2 cups kale or other dark leafy greens

Remove pizza dough from refrigerator 1 hour before use.

If slow roasting tomatoes, cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast in oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour or until desired doneness. Increase oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage with a drizzle of olive oil until cooked through, 7-10 minutes. Drain grease on paper towel, place in a bowl and set aside. In same skillet add more olive oil and cook fennel and onion with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes or until caramelized. Add herbs, garlic and chili flakes half way through. Set aside in bowl.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, roughly double the size of a sheet pan. You can make any size you like. This recipe makes 2 medium calzones. Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, half will be hanging over. Start layering with the tomatoes, then the cheese, sausage fennel mixture and finally the greens. Brush the outer inch of the dough on the sheet pan with a bit of water or egg wash, gently fold over the top portion to meet the bottom far edge, press down to secure dough together and fold over with a turned edge. Brush lightly with the remaining egg wash or olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before cutting. Serves 6-8.

Serve with:

Kunde Family Winery Zinfandel

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