Rabe-Stuffed Stromboli Bread

Aired February 4, 2008

1 large loaf semolina bread
2 bundles of broccoli rabe
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound bulk hot or sweet chicken or pork sausage
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
A little freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 cup (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups shredded provolone cheese
8 thin slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375F. Cutting lengthwise, remove the top off the loaf of bread and scoop out the insides, reserving the top piece.

Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a deep skillet over high heat. Trim the ends off the broccoli rabe and cut it into 3 to 4-inch pieces. Cook in salted water and reduce heat to simmer. (Add the rabe in stages as it wilts down its a mountain of greens!) Simmer 5 minutes then drain, shock in cold water and reserve.

Heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add sausage and break it up into small pieces as it browns. Add the garlic, cook 2 minutes then add the rabe and heat through. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.

Fill the hollowed-out loaf of bread with the sausage and rabe mixture, and top with a combo of three cheeses: Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella and provolone. Replace the top of the loaf, wrap bread in foil and bake to melt cheese, about 12-15 minutes. Cut into thick pieces and serve.

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