An intoxicating, unmistakable and almost atavistic perfume. Each bite projects the heart and mind into a distant time, in which simplicity and purity guided gestures and words.
And that crunchiness that immediately leaves the way to the most reassuring softness: a contrast that conquers even the most demanding palate.
Here’s what’s packed into a slice of calzone from Puglia, a real excellence of the gastronomic tradition of the heel of the boot.
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The onion calzone: more than a ‘simple’ tradition
The Pugliese calzone is more than a classic rustic pizza, it is the modus vivendi del Pugliese doc: it is the dish for parties, family lunches, it is a symbol of conviviality and sharing.
The calzone is a real institution on the Apulian tables, especially during the festivity more canonical: Christmas, Carnival and August 15th. But it is also perfect for a quick lunch on the beach or as an appetizer during the ‘picnics’ typical of the summer.
Its preparation is an act of love, attention and wisdom. It is said that the Apulian calzone was born by chance, to entertain the children running around in the kitchen while the women of the house prepared bread for the week. The mothers, to appease the little pests, gave them pieces of mass ‘seasoned’ with poor ingredients that they had at hand, such as tomatoes, olives and onions.
And the onions, indeed, the ‘sponzali’ (hence the name nuptial calzone) typical Apulian long onions, are the real one peculiarity of the calzone. In fact he used to serve the onion calzone as a wish for prosperity and happiness during the banquets for the promises of the future spouses, the ‘nuptials’.
Only poor but genuine ingredients: true wealth
But what makes this stuffed calzone so special and tasty? The secret is the simplicity and quality of the selected raw materials.
The Apulian onion calzone is basically one salty pizza, closed, made of bread dough with extra virgin olive oil. It resembles a focaccia, given its round shape and its raised and crunchy edges.
But on the inside contains a unique and harmonious filling. The sweet ofraisins goes perfectly with the flavor of black olives and the acrid scent of spousal closes the deal perfectly. Some Apulian families like to add to the filling also salted anchovies, to give the calzone an extra sprint.
The recipe of the Apulian calzone
Each Apulian family therefore has its very own version of the onion calzone, without ever completely distorting the original character of the recipe. We will explain the step by step most common original recipe… And proven: guaranteed success!
Ingredients for the mass
- 300 grams of type 0 wheat flour
- 100g of re-milled durum wheat flour
- 1 glass of water at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Natural yeast 12gr
- 80 gr di Extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients for the filling
- 3 tablespoons of raisins
- 800gr of nuptials (typical white and long Apulian onions)
- 40 gr of pitted black olives
- 1 glass of water at room temperature
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- Sale q.b.
Procedure – The mass
First of all, we make the mass. Then mix the two flours, arranging them in a fountain, in the center of which we pour the yeast dissolved in a glass of water at room temperature, the oil and salt. We patiently knead everything firmly, thus obtaining a smooth and soft dough with an elastic consistency. Let’s leave it rest for about two hours in a warm place in the kitchen waiting for it to double in volume.
The filling is thesoul of the calzone: a kaleidoscope of contrasts that fades from sweet to savory in a perfect balance. Let’s think first of all of spousal, to be carefully cleaned from the root and outer sheath, and cut them into washers. We pour them in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and a glass of water and we make them brown for a few minutes on a beautiful bright flame. Then lower the heat and add salt. We cover our spring onions with a lid and let them cook for about half an hour until they are wilted, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Finally, we add the black olives stoned cut and raisins. Mix until the cooking juices thicken.
Now we can finally shape our calzone. With a wooden rolling pin we roll out the mass now grown and we get two fairly thin discs, with a diameter of about 30cm each. We take a well-oiled round baking pan and place it on one of the two discs. You then we pour the rich filling and close carefully with the other disc, joining gently but ‘hermetically’ the edge, making it fold back on itself. For a perfect browning, brush the surface of our calzone with good extra virgin olive oil and prick it with the prongs of a fork so that the humidity comes out during cooking. We can now bake the Pugliese calzone in a static oven, preheated to 180 °, for about 40 minutes.
Our kitchen will be filled with a scent that tastes of Puglia: let our calzone cool and taste it, perhaps with an excellent glass of Apulian red wine!
How about you try another version of the Apulian calzone with tomato and mozzarella? Simpler but always excellent. You find it in our shop, as well as the onion calzone prepared according to tradition, along with many others typical Apulian products.
Enjoy your meal!