Although both empanadas and calzones have similar origins – they trace their roots to the Indian meat-filled samosa – each is distinct: the word empanada come from the Spanish verb empanar (to wrap or coat in bread) while calzone is the Italian word for trouser or stocking. Each is also created differently: empanadas were once made using bread dough, however, now they are typically made using a flaky pastry dough; calzones are made with a salted pizza dough. The classic empanada comes from Galicia, Spain and is filled with chicken, onions and peppers; other versions include tuna, salted cod, sardines or chorizo. In South America the varieties are endless – almost every country (and region within each country) has a particular way of filling and eating these delicious treats. Calzones are usually filled with tomato and mozzarella (and sometimes sauce) – or with other toppings usually associated with pizza; most are usually served from street vendors. In Puglia, smaller, fried versions using a softer dough are called panzerotti.
Even though this recipe only used pizza dough (and so strictly speaking, are actually calzones), I made one cheesy version using some left over homemade tomato sauce and one meat version (that I am calling meat empanadas) using left over beef bourguignon – a great way to get another meal from left-overs! Try them out for a fun interactive dinner or as tasty fiesta canapes – gooey, melted cheese, crispy dough and tender delicious meat – what could be better than that?!
Meat Empanadas and Tomato and Mozzarella Calzones (makes 10)
pizza dough (1/2 portion)
2 large balls of mozzarella
6 leaves of basil, chiffonade
8 black olives, roughly chopped
beef bourguignon (or some stewed beef with onions)
- Make pizza dough (if using left-overs take out of fridge several hours before using).
- Preheat oven to 200 C. Place pizza stone in oven. Roll out pizza dough on floured surface. Using a large bowl or round cookie cutter, cut out large circles of dough; set aside in between sheets of paper towel. Assemble all fillings.
- Take hot pizza stone out of the oven and place a piece of baking paper on top of it. Transfer the circles of dough to the pizza stone and assemble the calzones and empanadas on top of it.
- For the meat empanadas: spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the meat filling on one half of the circle, taking care to leave a thin edge. Fold the other side of the dough over the filling to create a semi-circle; crimp the edge and seal with egg wash. For the tomato and mozzarella calzones: spread 1 tbl tomato sauce over one half of the dough circle, taking care to leave a thin edge. Layer mozzarella, spinach, basil and the chopped black olives on top of the sauce. Add another tbl of sauce and bit of grated parmesan cheese on top. Fold over the other side of the dough over the filling to create a semi circle; crimp the edge and seal with egg wash. Drizzle olive oil on top of the calzones and/or empanadas and bake in the oven for 10 min or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with red wine.