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Giada's pepperoni and cheese calzone alla checca

Giada De Laurentiis, Megyn Kelly
To celebrate tomato season, chef Giada De Laurentiis joins Megyn Kelly TODAY with a fresh, no-cook tomato sauce that will make your mouth water. Megyn also tries her hand at stuffing a calzone.Nathan Congleton / TODAY


  • All purpose flour
  • 1 pound pizza dough, divided into 2, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup checca sauce, plus more for serving
  • 8 large slices pepperoni or spicy salumi, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Chef notes

    The checca sauce is so easy to make and gives the calzone a flavor boost. 



    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Adjust the racks so one is on the lower third and the second is on the upper third.


    Dust the counter with flour. Working one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a 9 inch round, about 1/4 inch thick, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. On one half of the round closest to you, spread 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese leaving an inch rim around the outside.


    Sprinkle the cheese with 1/4 teaspoon oregano and an 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spoon 2 tablespoons of checca down the center of the ricotta. Sprinkle with half of the pepperoni and half of the mozzarella cheese. Fold the top part of the dough over the filling. Use a little water along the edge to seal the dough together.


    Beginning at one corner, fold the dough over itself and continue to do so until reaching the other corner, pressing down after each fold to secure. This will make a decorative rope effect. Alternatively, you can use the tines of a fork to gently press and seal. Place the calzone on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients.


    Using a sharp knife, make three slits in the top of each calzone. Brush evenly with the olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and the parmesan cheese. Place the tray on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.


    Rotate the tray to the top rack and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove to a wire rack and allow the calzone to cool for 5 minutes before serving with additional checca for dipping!