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The Night and Day Calzone at Don Antonio by Starita

Welcome to a special Calzone Power Hour edition of The Hot Dish, a series that delves in to the making of the dishes of the moment or in this case the hour.


[All photographs by Nick Solares]

"Everybody wants to see how the pizza is made, but no one asks to see how the dough is made," states pizza chef Roberto Caporuscio, with only mild indignation in his voice, when Eater asks to see the whole process of making calzone the Neapolitan way. He is only too happy to take us into the basement and show us where most of the magic actually happens. Down in the surprisingly cramped confines of a small subterranean room, Caporuscio blends flour and salt and water and yeast to make the dough for his pizzas and calzones.

Although traditionally made by hand, the dough is now blended using mixers. But once ready, Caporuscio works the dough himself, pulling and stretching it into a ball before allowing it to proof. He likens the process to making mozzarella, which the restaurant also makes in-house, and points out that both the cheese and dough develop a "skin" on the exterior that protects them. When stretching the dough for pizza, the aim is to never rupture this skin. Put a ball of Neapolitan dough into an oven and it will blow up like a balloon. It is the toppings on pizza that weigh it down, inhibiting the rise and keeping it flat.

Caporuscio distinguishes the Neapolitan calzone from the American variant in that the former has toppings (even if only sauce) as well as fillings, while the exterior of the latter is generally served dry. The night and day is actually both a ricotta and ham stuffed calzone with a margarita pizza atop.

A look at how the dough and night and day calzone are made:

Don Antonio by Starita

309 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019