calzone…or little parcels of goodness

First time I ever had one of these doughy little parcels of goodness, I was sixteen. I was walking on a crowded street with school friends on a Saturday night in southern Italy. It was cold, the middle of winter kind of cold. Cold enough for the wind to whistle up my slightly too short jeans, and leave a chilled to the bone feeling.

My jeans in those days were frequently too short, as I was quite tall. So in winter time, the wind would whistle around my ankles, attaching its cold breathy fingers to me.

Biting into a calzone was the perfect antidote. Two bites in and you would reach the molten lava that is the tomatoey mixture inside. Hot enough for you to start gasping, waving a useless hand in front of your gaping mouth. Hoping to god, that the mouthful of food would cool in your mouth before you had to spit it out and look like an idiot. In those days I would choose burning the roof top of your mouth until all that remained was a flapping bloody mess of skin, over looking like an idiot any day.

These days, the jeans length has dropped. My ankles stay warm, I don’t tend to keep molten hot food in my mouth and the happy taste memory of calzone are still with me.

Calzone to make are dead easy. It’s basically a folded pizza. What ever you like on your pizza, can go in these. I used this olive oil bread dough, (I like making up extra bread dough and keeping some in the freezer for a quick weekend lunch.) Rolled out a rough circle, shoved some cooked tomatoes, salami, mozzarella in and then folded it over. Pinch the sides and place on an oiled or lined tray. Into the oven at 240C, cook until golden and sounds hollow.

Eat…when slightly cooler.

Submitted to the lovely yeast spotting.


My new favourite Pizza

Pizza is always a favourite in this household. Usually a weekly occurrence as without it everyone gets a little toey, and I try and keep the peace.  I wanted something different though, I wanted to stray into unchartered waters. I wanted a different sensation when I chomped down on the weekly favourite. Find it I did. My mouth was happy. My taste buds were saying oh yeaaahh. My brain was saying why the hell didn’t you stray before hand?

My new favourite pizza topping. A little Middle Eastern inspired, and making use of the Labneh.


3 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp sugar

mix together with 200 mls luke warm water- leave until froths (approx 20 mins)

600gms cups strong flour

1 tsp salt

Mix together in a bowl and slowly add the yeast liquid, mixing as you go. Add

4 tbs olive oil

When combined, knead for approx 10 minutes until, dough is elastic. Leave for 1 hour or until dough has double in size.

Light knead again, and divide into 8 balls. Flatten, and dough is ready to be rolled out, or if you are feeling extra lazy- hand stretch it. (Rustic is good.) If there is too much dough, simply roll balls and freeze until next time.


english spinach




olive oil



Cook up good size bunch of english spinach, squeeze out excess liquid and leave. Once  you have flattened the dough, spread a really small amount of mozzerella, scatter cooked spinach, and add some finely chopped garlic. Scatter pinenuts, dust with a little cumin and cook in oven at 220C until golden. Add dollops of Labneh, and drizzle with olive oil.

Eat with GUSTO.

The Monkeys were not going to go for the spinach on their pizzas though, so a Monkey friendly one was made as well. Utter silence, except for …”mmm, slurp, mmm…” Easy small kid dinner. (Tomatoes, salami, mozzerella, they don’t want excitement when it comes to their Monkey pizzas.)