Calzones are a delicious and satisfying Italian dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. These savory pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, from cured meats to vegetables and cheeses, and are baked to perfection.
But when it comes to the question of whether or not to put sauce inside a calzone, opinions are divided. Some swear by dipping their calzone in tomato sauce, while others argue that leaving the sauce on the side is the way to go.
So, what’s the verdict?
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of putting sauce in a calzone and help you decide which method is right for you. Let’s dive in!
Do You Put Sauce In A Calzone?
Traditionally, calzones do not have sauce inside the dough. Instead, they are served with a side of tomato sauce for dipping. This allows for a crispier crust and prevents the filling from becoming too soggy.
However, some people prefer to put sauce inside their calzone for added flavor and moisture. This can be a matter of personal preference and experimentation.
One potential downside to putting sauce inside a calzone is the risk of leaks or a watery final product. The sauce can create a moister environment within the calzone, which can lead to a messier eating experience.
On the other hand, leaving the sauce on the side can give you more room in the dough for melted cheese and cooked fillings. This can result in a gooey and satisfying core to your calzone.
Ultimately, whether or not to put sauce in a calzone is up to you. It’s worth trying both methods to see which one you prefer. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even experiment with different types of sauces or fillings to create your own unique calzone recipe.
The Tradition Of Calzones
Calzones have a long history in Italian cuisine, dating back to the 18th century. Originally, they were created as a portable meal for workers in Naples. The dough was filled with leftover ingredients from the previous night’s dinner and then folded over to create a convenient and filling lunch.
Over time, calzones evolved into a more elaborate dish, with a variety of fillings and toppings. They became popular in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to the rise of Italian-American cuisine.
In Italy, calzones are typically made with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cured meats like prosciutto or salami. Vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, and onions are also common fillings.
Traditionally, calzones are baked in a wood-fired oven until the crust is crispy and golden brown. They are then served hot with a side of tomato sauce for dipping.
While there is no one “correct” way to make a calzone, there are certain traditions and techniques that have been passed down through generations of Italian cooks. These include using high-quality ingredients, rolling the dough thin enough to create a crispy crust, and folding the dough over to create a half-moon shape.
Whether you prefer your calzone with or without sauce inside the dough, there’s no denying that this classic Italian dish is a delicious and satisfying meal that has stood the test of time.
The Case For Putting Sauce In A Calzone
While traditional calzones don’t have sauce inside the dough, some people argue that adding sauce can enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.
Firstly, adding sauce can provide extra moisture to the filling, which can prevent it from becoming too dry. This is especially important if you’re using ingredients that tend to be on the drier side, such as cooked meats or vegetables.
Secondly, sauce can add an extra layer of flavor to your calzone. Depending on the type of sauce you use, it can complement or contrast with the other ingredients in your filling. For example, a spicy marinara sauce can add a kick to a calzone filled with mild cheeses and vegetables.
Finally, putting sauce inside your calzone can create a more unified eating experience. Instead of having to dip each bite into a separate bowl of sauce, you can enjoy all the flavors and textures in one bite.
Of course, there are also potential downsides to putting sauce inside a calzone. As mentioned earlier, it can increase the risk of leaks or a soggy final product. It’s important to use a minimal amount of sauce and make sure that it’s evenly distributed throughout the filling.
The Case Against Putting Sauce In A Calzone
There are some strong arguments against putting sauce inside a calzone. One of the main concerns is the potential for the sauce to make the filling too moist, which can result in a soggy and messy calzone. This can be especially problematic if you are using ingredients that release a lot of moisture when cooked, such as mushrooms or spinach.
Another issue with putting sauce inside a calzone is the risk of leaks. When the sauce heats up, it can create pressure inside the dough and cause it to burst open, spilling the filling and sauce all over your plate. This can be frustrating and messy, and it can also ruin the overall texture and flavor of your calzone.
In addition to these practical concerns, some people argue that putting sauce inside a calzone goes against traditional Italian cooking methods. In Italy, calzones are typically served with a side of tomato sauce for dipping, rather than having the sauce baked inside. This allows for a crispier crust and gives diners more control over how much sauce they want to use.
Alternatives To Traditional Tomato Sauce
While tomato sauce is a classic and popular choice for calzone dipping, there are plenty of alternatives to try. Here are some ideas to switch up your calzone game:
1. Pesto – This Italian sauce is a delicious option for adding flavor to your calzone. Spread it on the dough before adding your fillings for a tasty twist.
2. Garlic Sauce – If you love garlic, this sauce is for you. Mix minced garlic with olive oil and spread it on the dough before adding your fillings.
3. Alfredo Sauce – This creamy sauce is a great alternative to tomato sauce if you want something rich and indulgent. Spread it on the dough and add your favorite toppings.
4. Barbecue Sauce – For a tangy and smoky flavor, try using barbecue sauce in your calzone. It pairs well with meats like chicken or sausage.
5. Pesto Ranch – Combine ranch dressing with pesto for a flavorful and creamy sauce that’s perfect for dipping your calzone in.
6. Buffalo Sauce – If you like a little heat, buffalo sauce is a great choice for your calzone. Mix it with melted butter and spread it on the dough before adding your fillings.
7. Hummus – For a Mediterranean twist, use hummus as a dipping sauce for your calzone. It pairs well with veggies like roasted red peppers or artichokes.
8. Salsa – If you’re in the mood for something fresh and zesty, try using salsa as a dipping sauce for your calzone. It’s especially delicious with Mexican-inspired fillings like black beans and cheese.
9. Curry Sauce – For an exotic flavor, try using curry sauce in your calzone. It pairs well with veggies like cauliflower or sweet potato.
10. Honey Mustard – This sweet and tangy sauce is a great alternative to tomato sauce if you want something different. Spread it on the dough before adding your fillings.
11. Sriracha Mayo – For a spicy kick, mix sriracha with mayo and use it as a dipping sauce for your calzone.
12. Basil Oil – Infuse olive oil with fresh basil for a flavorful alternative to tomato sauce. Brush it on the dough before adding your fillings.
13. Teriyaki Sauce – For an Asian-inspired twist, try using teriyaki sauce in your calzone. It pairs well with veggies like mushrooms or broccoli.
14. Peanut Sauce – This Thai-inspired sauce is a delicious option for dipping your calzone in. It’s especially tasty with fillings like chicken or shrimp.
15. Chimichurri Sauce – For a bold and herbaceous flavor, try using chimichurri sauce in your calzone. It’s especially delicious with meats like steak or sausage.
With so many options to choose from, you can create endless variations of delicious calzones that are sure to please any palate.
Tips For Serving And Enjoying Calzones.
If you’re looking to serve and enjoy calzones, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to ensure a delicious and satisfying experience.
Firstly, make sure to preheat your oven and pan or pizza stone before baking the calzones. This will help ensure a crispy crust and prevent sogginess.
When assembling your calzone, be sure to fill it generously with your desired ingredients. Don’t be afraid to pile them high and stretch the dough to close it up. This will create layers of flavor and texture.
To prevent leaks, make sure to cut slits into the top of the calzone to allow air to escape. This will also help with even cooking.
Once the calzones are finished baking, let them cool for a few minutes before cutting into them. This will allow the filling to set and prevent it from spilling out.
Finally, serve your calzones with a side of tomato sauce for dipping. This traditional method allows for a crispy crust and prevents the filling from becoming too soggy.
By following these tips, you can ensure a delicious and satisfying calzone experience.