If you could see the inside of my fridge right now you’d be horrified. I am not naturally an organized person. Having three kids has forced me to improve on my organization skills but the fridge is still one area in which I need great improvement.
There are random jars of pickled peppers, capers, and jams that may or may not be expired. There are several yogurt containers that most likely do not contain yogurt but bits of meals from the previous week. Some that cause too much fear in me are saved for a day in which I’m brave enough to tackle the impending smell that will cast doom over the kitchen. Others are simply tossed into the trash even though my conscience screams at me, “Reuse that container! Or at the very least, recycle it!” I pretend I can’t hear it.
On the rare days that the house is clean and I appear to have my life order, please, just don’t open the fridge, because in there lies the truth. My life is cluttered, messy, often smelly, and chaotic.
My favorite way to clean out the fridge is to wrap those little random leftover bits, the ones that haven’t gone bad, in dough.
Pizza dough is often found in the fridge, so as I’m pulling that out I grab the yogurt container that contains a small amount of last night’s leftover sausage. And perhaps I’ll grab the container that has a few cherry tomatoes and chunks of blue cheese. Oh and there’s a bit of marinated kale too? I’ll take that.
With a bit of mozzarella and a spoonful of tomato sauce tucked in there, dinner is ready in under 30 minutes. The productive part of me, the one who gets giddy when I’m able to “kill two birds with one stone” as they say, is very proud that I cleaned out the fridge while producing a dinner that pleases everyone. Even those in the family, who shall remain nameless, that are less than thrilled with eating leftovers.
This recipe can be adapted to endless possibilities. You’ll want to make sure you have some sort of cheese and a great red sauce, after that use what you have – roasted vegetables, greens, meat, etc. Any pizza dough will work here, homemade or store bought. Once you have the dough this meal comes together in moments and is easily customizable for those “particular” eaters in the family.
1 recipe pizza dough (store-bought dough works beautifully here)
1 cup Newman’s Own Marinara (or your favorite red sauce)
1 cup mozzarella
1 cup cooked sausage
a few basil leaves, roughly torn
¼ cup olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 450*
Divide the dough in four equal portions and create a rough circle. Flatten out to about ¼ – ½ inch thick using your hands or a rolling pin. In the center of each dough round add a couple of tablespoons of sauce, some cheese, sausage, and a couple of torn up pieces of basil. This is what I happened to have on hand, feel free to use what you find in the fridge.
Brush a little bit of the olive oil along the edge of the dough. Pull one side of the dough over the filling to reach the other side. Seal the edges and brush the top of the calzone with olive oil. Place on a parchment lined sheet tray or directly onto a pre-heated pizza stone, if you have one.
Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
Let cool slightly as the inside will remain very hot for quite awhile. Serve warm along side a simple salad.
*This post was part of an ad campaign for Newman’s Own and was compensated for the content I created.