Originally aired March 3, 2010
- 1 large bundle broccoli rabe, trimmed, washed and dried, coarsely chopped
- 1 large loaf ciabatta bread or 2 small loaves, split horizontally, (Portion in your head for 4 servings of bread pizzas to pick the right size)
- EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- Black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 cups provolone cheese, shredded
Preheat broiler and position rack 1 rung from top of oven.
Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a covered deep skillet. Remove cover and season water with salt and boil the rabe 3-4 minutes to cook out their bitterness, drain well.
Place bread on a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet so heat can circulate and the bottom of the bread can remain crisp. Lightly toast bread under broiler, 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown and crumble, remove to plate and return pan to stove. Then reduce heat to medium and add EVOO, a couple turns of the pan. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and stir, then add broccoli rabe and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg. Turn off heat.
While sausage browns, combine ricotta with milk, salt, pepper, thyme and a drizzle of EVOO. Slather or dollop the ricotta cheese on to the bread. Top the bread with even layers of sausage and broccoli rabe and provolone cheese. Return bread pizzas to the oven for 3 minutes or until brown and bubbly on top.