Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe and Fennel Sausage Pizza

January 15, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 8 slices
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 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. Pizza Dough
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. Pizza Toppings
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F if using a pizza stone or 450 if using a baking sheet.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • aargersi
  • Food Blogga
    Food Blogga

11 Reviews

AntoniaJames January 15, 2010
I'm making this for Mr. T tomorrow night, or perhaps Sunday, depending on a few variables . . . just might have to slice up a small bulb of fennel, though, and saute it briefly with the onion . . . . stay tuned. ;o)
Food B. January 17, 2010
Please do let me know how you like it. And fennel? Oh, yes!
AntoniaJames January 17, 2010
I made this last night; it was, without question, one of the best pizzas I've ever made. What a great idea it is to blanch in salt water. The rabe wasn't at all bitter! I'd prepared a dinner with fennel sausage earlier in the week, so I used instead some Basque chorizo that somehow escaped being devoured by the boys when they were home, and topped the pizza with Manchego and local fresh jack (the Manchego courtesy of The Spanish Table, as was the chorizo). I did throw a few pieces of fennel on it, as well, simply because I had some that had already been lightly sauteed. The pizza was absolutely gorgeous, and delicious. This one is quite obviously a keeper!!
Food B. January 20, 2010
I'm thrilled to hear it, Antonia! I started blanching the rabe a few years ago and just love it. It reduces the bitterness and helps keep them looking fresh and appetizing. Manchego must have been delicious. Now I've got a couple of variations to try myself. Thanks!
TheWimpyVegetarian January 15, 2010
This looks great! Great picture and delicious sounding recipe.
Food B. January 17, 2010
Thanks so much!
AntoniaJames January 15, 2010
Gorgeous! I love this combo. I prefer the mild fennel sausage . . . . and often use it with rabe (and crushed, lightly toasted fennel seeds!!) in frittatas, with just a touch of parmigiano! What a beautiful photo, too. Really nicely done -- and I love the story, too!!
Food B. January 15, 2010
Thank you so much for your kind words. I love it in frittatas too! I think you and I are going to get along well. :)
aargersi January 15, 2010
This looks really great, I love the fennel sausage pepper and broccoli combo. If you can't find fennel sausage maybe crush some toasted fennel seed over it? I too grew up in Rhode Island and I too miss the pizza!! And the Lobstahs :-)
Food B. January 15, 2010
Hey! Another Rho- Dylandah? It is a small world, isn't it? That's a good suggestion to add the crushed fennel seeds. PS-I had some lobstah when I went home for the holidays.
aargersi January 15, 2010
Yum! Now I want to go to Salas' in Newport :-)
I think I might make this tonight - have all the ingredients in the house oddly enough, and it's cold and rainy ...