Broccoli Rabe and Fennel Sausage Pizza

By • January 15, 2010 11 Comments

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Author Notes: When I was a kid growing up in Rhode Island, every weekend my dad and I went to Crugnale's Bakery to pick up 3 pounds of pizza dough for $1. Then my mom and I would make pizza for lunch. Our family's favorite was broccoli rabe with my dad's homemade Italian sausage. Now that I live in California, I can't make it to Crugnale's and I don't have Dad's homemade sausage. But that doesn't stop me from having my pizza. I make homemade dough and top it with fresh broccoli rabe and hot Italian fennel sausage from a nearby Italian deli. It's just what I need when I'm missing home. I definitely recommend using hot fennel sausage which is available at Italian markets and delis. Otherwise, substitute another sausage of your choice. If you're in a rush, then 1 pound of store-bought dough is fine. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before rolling. Food Blogga

Serves 8 slices

Pizza Dough

  • 1 (1/4 oz) packet active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, gently stir in salt and sugar. Add 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to start. Blend with a spoon just until the dough starts to form, then using your hands, transfer to a floured surface. Knead well for a couple of minutes, adding flour if it’s too sticky. The finished dough should be soft and smooth.
  2. Place the dough in a large, clean bowl coated with olive oil and rub some olive oil on top of the dough. Cover with a clean, dry dishtowel and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size (about 2 hours). Punch the dough down to release air bubbles. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface to roll out. If you like, you can let the rolled out dough rest for about 30 minutes; it will rise slightly and create a puffier crust.

Pizza Toppings

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 pound hot fennel sausage, sliced
  • 1 medium bunch broccoli rabe, stems removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp provolone
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup Reggiano-Parmigiano cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F if using a pizza stone or 450 if using a baking sheet.
  2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper (if using a stone) or to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Boil broccoli rabe for 2 minutes; drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Shocking the rabe will maintain its vivid green color and stop it from cooking. After a few minutes, drain.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add sausage and sear 4-5 minutes per side, until they are brown and crispy. Transfer to a plate.
  5. In the same skillet over medium heat, warm 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add sliced onions and sugar; stir occasionally until onions begin to caramelize, about 5-6 minutes. Add the rabe and crushed red pepper, and continue cooking, about 2-3 minutes, or until rabe is slightly browned. Return sausage to skillet and stir. Remove from heat.
  6. Place half of the shredded provolone and mozzarella on the oiled dough. Arrange the sausage and rabe mixture on top, then add the remaining cheese.
  7. For a pizza stone, bake at 500 degree for about 10 minutes, or until both the top and bottom of the crust is brown and the cheese is melted. For a baking sheet, bake at 450 for about 20-25 minutes, or until both the top and bottom of the crust is brown and the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with grated Reggiano-Parmigiano cheese before serving.

More Great Recipes: Pizza|Pork|Broccoli|Fennel

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