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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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F if using a pizza stone or 450 if using a baking sheet.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Broccoli/Broccoli Rabe Dish