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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Open-Faced Calzone & Simple Marinara

Here's another Rachael Ray recipe that I tried a while back. It was really quite easy and tasty, but the best part was the marinara sauce. I couldn't find any ciabatta or focaccia, so I used a wide Italian loaf of bread and it worked just fine (I scooped out some of the bread inside so it wouldn't be so thick). Makes a nice quick week-night meal that will feed at least 4.

Open-Faced Calzone

1 box chopped spinach, 10 ounces
1 loaf ciabatta bread (or focaccia)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 cups ricotta cheese (1 15 oz. container will work)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, a handful
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano or Reggiano cheese, a generous handful
1 can artichokes, drained and sliced
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
Simple Marinara Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400F.
Defrost spinach 6 minutes on high and wring the spinach dry in a kitchen towel.

Crust bread in oven for 5 or 6 minutes. Remove and split bread in half from end to end as if it were a large sandwich roll.

Turn broiler on. If your broiler is too small to place ciabatta breads under it, you can melt the cheese in oven as well, see below, it simply browns faster under broiler.

Drizzle hot bread with extra-virgin olive oil. Mix ricotta, garlic, parsley and grated cheese. Spread the mixture evenly over the bread halves then dot with the defrosted chopped spinach. Evenly distribute the sliced artichokes, season the breads with salt and pepper and top with an even layer mozzarella cheese. Melt and brown the cheese under the broiler 3 minutes, 1 rack down from the top of the oven. If you are using the oven rather than broiler, the cheese will take 6 or 7 minutes to brown. Cut into bread into wedges and serve. If desired, serve with Dipping Sauce.

Simple Marinara Dipping Sauce

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon anchovy paste, optional (I did NOT use this)
1 Tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Heat a small pot over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes and anchovy paste (if using). Cook 2 minutes. Add parsley, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir sauce, bring to a bubble and simmer 5 minutes over low heat then place in small bowl and serve.

Yield: 2 cups

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

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