broccoli rabe + sausage pizza

DSC_0608-1-5It’s my favorite night of the week and it ain’t called FRI-YAY for nothing!  It means hanging out with the fam, decompression from the weekly grind, a little bit of wine, and a few slices of pizza.  This is something I grew up with and I guess history has a way of repeating itself:  every Friday night, we’d sit down as a family and eat my mom’s homemade pizza together.  Sometimes my dad would bring my Grandma Mary down for a weekend visit and she’d eat dinner with us.  When I was lucky, she’d pour some of her red wine in my Coke (I can’t believe I consumed that sugary shiz growing up – thanks, Mom! jk).  I have fond memories of pizza followed by TGIFriday programming on ABC.  Does anyone remember that?  Full House and then Family Matters with good old Steve Urkel.  “Did I do that?”  Those were the days!  But I digress… Now that I’m a grown-up (sort-of), it’s a more grown-up pizza and different TV shows… hello Shark Tank, Homeland, and House of Cards.  We also treat it as more of a home date night by feeding the kids a regular pizza earlier on and then eating our own pie after they go to bed.

Below is one of my favorite combinations as of late.  It’s so simple to put together and totally satisfying thanks to the meat and veggies.  I like to make the dough, brown the sausage and blanch the broccoli rabe earlier in the day, so all I’m doing at night is assembling and baking.    Please give it a shot and let me know what you think!


broccoli rabe + sausage pizza
Serves 2-4*
*how hungry are you?

Makes 2  14-” pies
1 3/4 cups warm water, 110-degrees F
1 package active dry yeast
2 tsp. salt
4ish* cups of unbleached all purpose flour

1 pie
12 stems of broccoli rabe
2 links of sweet sausage
8 oz. whole milk mozzarella, sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2+2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Combine yeast and salt in in a medium bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a dough hook.  Add warm water and give a good stir to dissolve everything.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.  Add flour by starting with about 3 1/2 cups first.  Gradually add in the last 1/2 cup until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl and no longer sticks.  [I’ve had times where this happens at exactly 3 3/4 cups; today, it was a bit more.  I think it’s a function of how precisely you measure your water.  Follow your gut and make sure you don’t overdo it]  Knead dough  for a good 5-10 minutes.  Put ball of dough on a floured surface and cut in half.  Place each ball in it’s own well-oiled bowl and cover loosely with saran wrap.  Let sit in a warm place to rise for at least 5 hours.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  In the meantime, rinse broccoli rabe under cool water.  Trim and discard tough woody stems from each bunch.  Hold the bunch together and roughly chop into 3″ segments.  Cook broccoli rabe in the boiling water about 1 minute until crisp tender.  Strain the broccoli rabe in a colander and immediately transfer it to a large bowl of ice water to cool for about 10 minutes.  Transfer back to the colander and press on the rabe to squeeze the excess water out.  Lay out some dish towels and top with broccoli rabe.  Roll them up and squeeze out as much water as you can.  Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high in a large cast iron skillet.  Decase sausage with a sharp knife.  Cook in skillet, breaking up into 1″ chunks as you go, and browning nicely until the meat is cooked through.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

Combine garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small ramekin.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 500-degrees.  Make sure your pizza stone is in there during this time.

Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for for 1 minute. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough or knuckle into a 14″ circle.

If using a pizza stone: Remove stone from the oven and liberally sprinkle with cornmeal. Working quickly, transfer the dough onto the stone. Perform the steps below.

If using a pan: Lightly oil a round metal pan. Transfer the dough and press lightly into pan.

Brush olive oil garlic mixture on top of dough leaving a 1″ border for the crust.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with broccoli rabe, sausage, and mozzarella in that order.  Place in oven and cook until crust is golden and cheese is melted; approximately 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let set for a few minutes before digging in.

I like to top my pizza with pecorino romano and a little garlic salt.  Enjoy!


One Response to “broccoli rabe + sausage pizza”

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  1. Lisa says:

    Looks delicious!

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