Deep dish pizza with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe

  • For the Italian sausage and broccoli rabe filling
  • 1 large bunch broccoli rabe, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 340g hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • For the tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (910g) tin plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 3g fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
  • 5g fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the pizza dough
  • 2 packages quick rise dry yeast
  • 475ml warm water (32C)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus a little to oil the pizza tins
  • 80g yellow cornmeal
  • 770g plain flour
  • 20g salt
  • 60g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • For the assembly
  • 225g aged provolone, coarsely grated
  • 225g fontina cheese, coarsely grated
  • Sausage and broccoli rabe filling
  • Tomato sauce
  • 55g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Serves: Two 25cm deep dish pizzas

For the filling:
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli rabe and blanch for 2 mins. Drain in a colander, rinse in cold water over, drain again and squeeze out excess liquid.

2) Heat 2 tbsp of the oil, chilli flakes and garlic in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook for 1 min. Add the broccoli rabe, salt and pepper and cook until slightly tender, about 5 mins.

3) In a separate large saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the sausage links and, using a wooden spoon, gently break up the meat into coarse pieces. Cook until deep golden brown. (You do not need to cook all the way because it will continue to cook in the oven.) Remove from the heat, combine the sausage and the broccoli rabe and set aside.

For the tomato sauce:
1) Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 secs. Add the tomatoes and oregano, bring to a boil and cook until the mixture thickens, about 15 mins. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and set aside.

For the pizza dough:
1) Dissolve the yeast and water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the oils and mix for 30 secs. Add the cornmeal, 420g of the plain flour and the salt and beat for 5 mins. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining 350g of plain flour, knead using the dough hook for 2 mins. Add the butter and knead until incorporated. The dough is a very moist dough so do not add more flour unless absolutely needed.

2) Place the dough in a large bowl lightly oiled with vegetable oil, cover with cling film or clean kitchen towels and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 mins. Punch down the dough, leave and allow to double in size again.

3) Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 8 and place 2 pizza stones into the oven to preheat. Generously oil 2 (22 to 25cm) deep dish pizza tins with olive oil (about 2 tbsp for each tin).

4) Divide the dough in half and press the dough out slightly on the worktop. Place the dough in the prepared pans and push out to cover the bottom and up the side of the pans. (If using the 22cm pans, pinch a 5cm ball off each dough to make a better fit.)

For the assembly:
1) Combine the provolone and fontina cheeses in a bowl. Place half of the cheese of the bottom of each pizza base. Divide the sausage and broccoli rabe filling over the cheese, top with the remaining cheese and pat the cheese down firmly over the filling. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the cheese to cover completely.

2) Place the pans into the oven on the pizza stones and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 40 mins. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the top with Parmesan and allow the pizza rest on a baking sheet for 5 mins before slicing.

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