The most delicious recipe in the world is that which you make from the stuff that you would have thrown away. — L.C.
Today I was cleaning out the fridge. There was a bunch of stuff in there:
* sausages, left over from the Salsicce, Finocchio, e Patate Rosse al Forno
* the “schmalz” from the same dish
* greens, prepared in the standard procedure for greens. (The two greens that, by chance, I had in the fridge were kale and collard greens — two greens common in America but rather unknown in Italy. They both are types of “dark cabbage,” both from the Brassica oleracea Acephala group. Kale is curly; collards are flat. A wonderful contrast!)
* a 15-oz. container of ricotta, intended for a cassata that was never made
* a plastic bag of pizza dough, made by Jeanette who said, “It has to be used either today or tomorrow.”
A light blub went off! A calzone. But I’d never made a calzone before. I’m hardly a baker. (Jeanette is the baker in the family.)
I greased the cookie sheet — not with butter, but with SCHMALZ! I rolled out the dough. I added some sausage, cut in little pieces with a scissor. I took some greens, I squeezed out the broth, and I cut them with a scissor. I added some ricotta. Then I closed the calzone and placed the pan in a 350º oven for 35 minutes.
You can see from the photos to what extent I am not a baker. I should have tucked the ends of the dough under!
The next time that I make this recipe, I will mix the fillings in a bowl, before adding them to the dough. And instead of ricotta alone, I will use the standard ricotta mixture that Italian-Americans use for ravioli, stuffed shells, manicotti, and lasagne. (Remember that béchamel sauce is not an ingredient of the classic Italian-American cuisine.)
- 15 oz. ricotta
- 1 large egg
- a handful of freshly grated pecorino (compulsory)
- a handful of freshly grated parmigiano (optional)
- a little freshly grated scamorza (or mozzarella)
- freshly chopped parsley
- salt (optional)
- freshly grated black pepper
- a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg