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Milk Street Bowtie Calzone with Caramelized Onions, Anchovies and Raisins

Calzone with Caramelized Onions, Anchovies and Raisins

4 to 6 Servings
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Tim Donovan of Huntington, New York, has fond memories of a stuffed bread roll that his Italian mother and grandmother made, which the family called calzone. This savory bread was filled with sweet caramelized onions, briny black olives, plump golden raisins and salty anchovies—totally unlike the popular North American version of calzone that consists of pizza dough folded around various meats, cheeses and vegetables. The family enjoyed this calzone for special occasions like Easter and Christmas. Donovan grew up on Long Island in an Italian-Irish household. His maternal grandparents were from Bari, in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy; they immigrated to Forest Hills, New York, where his mother, Arcangela Fonte, was born. Donovan learned that the type of stuffed bread his mother made is an ancient dish from Puglia called calzone di cipolla alla pugliese, or Puglian onion pie. The onions, olives, raisins and anchovies reflect the historical and culinary influences of the region, which had been ruled or inhabited at various times by people from the Near East, North Africa and Greece. But like so many dishes that were passed down through the generations, Donovan said, there was no written recipe for his family’s calzone. He tried to make it a couple of times, but the crust was more doughy than his mother’s, so he asked Milk Street for assistance. Though preparing the filling was straightforward, the dough was more of a challenge to replicate. And to complicate matters, Donovan said his mother “was famous for never making the same recipe twice, and she always changed her recipes!” After talking with his brothers, Donovan gave us clues. He recalled the dough was “closer to flaky rather than chewy like pizza dough, but not as flaky or crumbly as pie crust. Since my mother used lots of olive oil, I’m sure there was generous use of olive oil.” We experimented with basic pizza dough, adjusting the amount of olive oil until we achieved what we hoped was the right texture—a dough that was easy to roll out and fold, and wasn’t too bready when baked. We call for Kalamata olives, though Donovan’s mother and grandmother had to use canned black olives since they were the only type available where they lived at that time. We found that swapping out half the Kalamatas for green olives, such as Castelvetrano, is a nice way to add color to the filling.

4 to 6

Servings

260 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing and brushing
¾ cup warm water (110°F)
1½ pounds yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¾ cup golden raisins
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, lightly crushed
8 oil-packed anchovy fillets, patted dry
Ingredients
  • 260

    grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2

    teaspoons instant yeast

  • 1

    teaspoon table salt

  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing and brushing

  • ¾

    cup warm water (110°F)

  • pounds yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¾

    cup golden raisins

  • 1

    cup pitted Kalamata olives, lightly crushed

  • 8

    oil-packed anchovy fillets, patted dry

Directions

Calzone with Caramelized Onions, Anchovies and Raisins

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Reviews
Randy V.
January 11, 2023
I was too thick
Really great flavors! I made the dough too thick though! Scraped out the innards, reduced with sherry and put over polenta!