Pumpkin, Feta and Spinach Wholemeal Calzones

6 Dec

Calzones are folded pizzas with the filling inside, like Italian pasties really. You can fill them with whatever you like but I love the autumn wintery feeling that you get from pumpkin or squash. Tomato and mozzarella feels a bit too summery for me at the moment.

The idea for this filling came from Rufus (not my dog, silly). This Rufus is actually called Greg (Rufus is his middle name) and the recipe was made by his wife, Katherine. Confused?

Their version had Italian sausage, squash and mascarpone in it aswell which I’m sure tastes amazing so feel free to add some cooked sausage if you’re that way inclined. I veggied it up a bit by adding spinach, feta and red onion.

I used spelt flour to make my pizza dough and I was really happy with the results. Because spelt is wheat -free but still contains gluten you get a proper elastic dough rather than something that could (quite nastily) be said to resemble cardboard. That sometimes happens when using gluten-free flours. I also dusted my worksurface with polenta (cornmeal) rather than flour when rolling the dough to give it a nice textured coating.

Pumpkin, Feta & Spinach Calzones Recipe

Makes 6 small calzones, vegetarian Adapted from Rufus Food & Spirit Guide

Prep time: about 2- 2 1/2 hours        Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

For the dough:

  • 1 packet of active dry yeast 7 gr
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp warm (not hot) water
  • 225 gr spelt or wholemeal bread flour
  • about 75 ml of warm (room temp) beer
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • polenta (cornmeal) for rolling

Mix together the yeast, honey and warm water in a large bowl and leave for at least 10 minutes until foamy. When foamy add in the flours, beer, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne & oregano and stir to combine. You may need to add a splash more beer to make it come together.

Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth.  Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 & 1/2 – 2 hours. Meanwhile make the filling.

For the filling:

  • about 800 gr pumpkin or squash, cut into 2 cm cubes (unpeeled)
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 6-8 wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  1/2 tsp black pepper
  •  1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finley chopped
  • about 300 gr fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200 gr Greek feta, crumbled
  •  a big handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 heaped tbsp cream cheese (or mascarpone)
  • a handful of grated manchego or parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200 C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Throw the pumpkin/squash cubes onto the tray with the onion wedges, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over the chilli flakes, thyme leaves, cinnamon, season with salt & pepper and roast for 30 -35 minutes until the pumpkin is soft and slightly browned.

Meanwhile add a tbsp olive oil to a large pan and saute the garlic over a medium heat for a minute until softened but not brown. Tip in the spinach, season with salt, pepper & nutmeg, stir and cover with a lid. Check after a minute or so and stir again, the spinach should be wilting. Replace the lid and repeat until the spinach has wilted.

Set aside to cool slightly and tip away any liquid from the spinach that is in the pan.

When the pumpkin is cooked, combine it with the drained spinach, crumble over the feta, add the parsley, cream cheese & grated cheese and mix everything together well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

To assemble:

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, leave it to rest for 10 minutes then cut it into 6, wrap in cling film and store in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Dust your worksurface with polenta (or flour) and roll (or spread out with your hands) the pieces of dough into rough oval shapes about 3-5 mm thick.

Transfer the dough ovals to a baking tray lined with baking paper. You may need to do 3 at a time. Pile a generous amount of the filling (see pictures above) in the bottom half of the oval, then fold the rest of the dough over the filling to make a half-moon pasty shape. Seal the edges with your fingers or a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned.

Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving. You can also reheat these very well by wrapping them in foil and baking again for 15-20 minutes.

Things That Made Me Smile Today……………………

Walking the streets of Malaga…..

We found a Lebanese restaurant, the food was amazing. I will be reviewing it soon….

And the Christmas lights were beautiful……

19 Responses to “Pumpkin, Feta and Spinach Wholemeal Calzones”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide December 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    I love that you used beer and polenta in the dough. I think the spinach looks amazing too. Katherine and Rufus approve too! That made me laugh by the way.

  2. thecompletecookbook December 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Wow, what a scrumptious and healthy calzone. – Delicious.🙂 Mandy

  3. Savorique December 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    How timely, feta-spinach petits fours are planned for xmas diner!
    Is the special dough what makes it a calzone instead of an empanada?

    • foodblogandthedog December 7, 2011 at 12:40 am #

      No, that’s just my pizza dough recipe. Calzone is an Italian folded pizza & empanadas are spanish pastry, but similar things really!!

  4. Mama J December 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    What a lovely recipe. I loved the photos at the end as well.🙂

  5. ceciliag December 7, 2011 at 2:41 am #

    feta and spinach are a match made in heaven, love your dough recipe.. i will try that one.. your images are lovely.. c

  6. happywhennothungry December 7, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    Wow these calzones look amazing and I love the pumpkin and feta combo. Your photos are beautiful too!

  7. therecanbeonlyjuan December 7, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    How delicious! The pastry looks so smooth, and the filling so generous.

    I adore the black and white photos – especially the tea pots and the little dog. Very evocative in their lighting, etc.

  8. Tony Ward December 7, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Calzones hey……whatever next?? (they remind me of Pizza Hut, you know me and my lateral thinking)>They look amazing guapa. Love the pic’s too, very retro, was the little dog waiting outside the Lebanese restaurant for a (dare I say it ?) DOGGY BAG !!
    Have a lovely day. xx

  9. Chica Andaluza December 7, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Another stunning and original recipe Natalie with beautiful photos. Now I want to make the food AND go to Malaga to see the lights…really must make time to do that!

  10. peasepudding December 7, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Sitting in bed reading this made me hungry and realize perhaps a few Tapas at the movies tonight was not enough. Hubby also leant over and went yum when he saw it.

  11. Magicalspice (@TheArdentEpicur) December 8, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    What a beautiful calzone…love the flavors!

  12. Xina Lynn December 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    That calzone dough looks lovely! What an interesting combination of flavors — I never would have thought of such a thing, but that’s why I love your blog!

  13. Tammy December 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    I want to be you! Love the calzone. Love Malaga.

  14. Maureen December 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Funny! At first I thought that (in the Malaga photos) the hanging dresses were some sort of plastic Christmas trees with double tops!

  15. Divya @flavourfiesta December 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    “The idea for this filling came from Rufus (not my dog, silly). ” That cracked me up…you’re so funny.

    Loving the recipe for the calzone, it’s hard to come by a wholemeal calzone!

  16. Three Well Beings December 10, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Oh wow! These look amazing. I do a birthday dinner for my daughter every year, and her birthday is the 24th of December! She would love these…do I dare try? I just might! Yum! Debra

  17. Beth Michelle December 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    That dough sounds amazing! I love calzones and this variation is just so different and unique!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Herbed Pizza with Potatoes, Spinach, and Smoked Mozzarella | Seattle Foodshed - January 17, 2012

    […] Pumpkin, Feta and Spinach Wholemeal Calzones (foodblogandthedog.wordpress.com) […]

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