About a month ago, around when the Pope announced his retirement, I vowed to the world I was giving up pizza for Lent. The Catholic faith was shocked. I had priests call me up saying the temptations of pizza were too great. “The Last Temptation of Crust”, they called it. Altar boys averted their eyes as they passed me on the street and a nun snuck up behind me and beat the back of my hand mercilessly with a wooden ruler while I was standing in the check-out line at the Winn-Dixie.
I am proud to say I have been pizza free for a month now with only a week or so before Easter.
It’s been a tough go. The kid in the Ford Fiesta who delivers for Enzo’s Pizza around the corner drives by house real slow so the aroma waifs through my front yard. It seems like Papa John’s has amped up their advertising when I’m watching TV and the recent “Find the Pope in the Pizza” contest came and went without me submitting one postcard to enter.
Since I have been pizza free, the air smells cleaner, cigars taste better and my bowel movements are regular. I have replaced my pizza addiction by running down to Enzo’s to order the next best thing. Calzone.
These half-moon folded-over pizza like delicacies are filled with almost anything you want and Enzo deep-fries them. He has three different versions, a meat special filled with Italian beef, Italian sausage, pepperoni and Canadian bacon. The veggie calzone features Enzo’s special sauce, onion, pepper, mushroom and cheese. Enzo’s Mediterranean calzone is stuffed with garlic olive oil, spinach, Kalamata olives, feta and shaved parmesan cheese.
But a steady diet of calzone with a Diet Coke can get a little tedious and build up the calorie count in a hurry. Some days I was forced to order Enzo’s bruschetta, ravioli or yuk…even a salad. That is until one day a few weeks ago Enzo greeted me at the door, pinched my cheek, wiped his flour caked hands on his apron and asked out loud, “Buena sera! How about a nice Stromboli?”
Stromboli eh? I had heard of this Italian turnover filled with meat and cheese and I had seen the classic Italian nonrealistic movie “Stromboli” starring Ingrid Bergman, so I was not totally unfamiliar with Stromboli. I had also read of the naval battle of Stromboli during the Franco-Dutch War in 1676.
Both the calzone and Stromboli are inspired by pizza. Calzone is just pizza dough, stuffed and folded over like a half-moon. Calzones can be deep fried or baked with marinara sauce on the inside or served as a dipping sauce.
Stromboli is an Italian-American dish probably invented in the 1950’s out of Philadelphia. Instead of a folded half-moon crescent shape, Stromboli is stuffed, then rolled and baked before slicing.
Stromboli or Calzone Toppings.
Ham, Canadian Bacon, Pepperoni, Salami, Mushrooms, Roasted Red Pepper, Onion, Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan Cheese, Herbs, Spinach, etc..
For a Stromboli, fill 8x8 pizza dough with desired toppings. Roll and seal with egg wash. Place on a greased cookie sheet, seam side down and bake at 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
For a Calzone, fill 8x8 pizza dough with desired toppings and fold over in to a crescent shape. Seal edges and bake as Stromboli or deep fry until golden brown.
Serve both with marinara sauce.
Giving up pizza for Lent? No sweat.
Happy fasting everybody. Is it Easter yet?