February 01, 2010

3 Cheese Calizza

For readers who have been around since this websites start in 2006, you might remember my posts reminiscing of the Calizza I used to have at Pizza Hut back in 1987 (ish) when I was a teenager. Baked in a personal sized pizza pan, it was a cheese stuffed crust, folded over and served with sauce but not one bit of red sauce was included in the entree, nor was there any meat. I have to go purely on memory from 20 years ago, but I knew at the time it was full of a ricotta cheese filling with bits of something green.... and I loved them.

They soon stopped making them and I've been on a small quest over the past 10 or 15 years to try to recreate this dish. Last week I came close. I saw a recipe for a ricotta flan and although it was nothing like the Calizza, my creative mind started to spin and I decided to give it a go. In the end I was close... closer than ever before. There was one thing missing, which I'll comment on at the end.

Here is what I did;

3 Cheese Calizza

15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c grated Mozzarella
1 large egg
1 1/2 t chopped basil (use 2 T fresh or about 2 t jarred in oil)
1 1/2 t chopped chives, fresh
1 1/2 t minced/chopped garlic
1/4 t paprika
salt and fresh ground black pepper
Pizza Dough

Mix the cheeses, herbs and egg together until creamy. Divide your pizza dough into 4 balls and roll each into a flat circle on a pizza stone or a greased baking sheet. Divide the filling between the four, placing only on half of the circle, fold over and use a fork to seal the edges. Brush the tops with oil. Bake at 375 until golden brown. Brush with butter or oil when it comes out of the oven. Serve with either a side of pizza sauce or garlic butter.

Herbs/Spices are approximate. Add more or less to your personal taste if you like heavy basil or oregano or garlic. The cheese amounts are approximate as well but the ricotta base is the most important. These were delicious but not like Pizza Hut's due to the fact they were not baked in a cast iron pan with lots of oil - as was Pizza Huts trademark Pan Pizza's and Calizzas. I will absolutely make these again, but will bake them in a small pie tin (as I don't have a personal pan pizza pan) with 2 T oil and will see if it makes the difference I'm looking for.

Mixing the cheeses

Seal the edges with a fork so the cheese filling doesn't leak out while baking

Bake until golden brown

Serve with pizza sauce or melted butter infused with garlic and parsley

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