Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pizza

Sit down to pizza night at home with veggie packed Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pizza

Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Ricotta Pizza from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

As someone who creates recipes and cooks for a living, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I eat out a lot.  After spending all day in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, at the end of the day I don’t always want to eat what I’ve prepared or cook up something  new that night.  The other predicament is that after 8 hours in the kitchen I’m also exhausted, hungry (the irony) and prefer not to go more than a 2 block radius for food.

Thank goodness for pizza, right?!

I get that pizza is a popular food all over the country but I swear New Yorkers consume it more than most. In just my immediate neighborhood I can walk to 4 casual pizza places and 2 fancy joints in 10 minutes.  The sky is the limit depending on which pizza place you’re in the mood for! Most weeks, we end up ordering at least 1 pie, which results in leftovers and then end up at the fancy pizza joint down the block from us.

Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Ricotta Pizza |

With all these options, why would I ever make my own pizza?

Even the cheap slice joints are pretty tasty but sometimes the urge takes over and I do want pizza night at home.  Usually the reason is because I ended up trying a pizza elsewhere and felt the need to recreate my own version.

Now besides the easy access to really good pizza, one of the other reasons why I never prepare it at home is I can never get the dough right! It might be the lack of 800 degree pizza oven or just years of preparing dough day after day.

Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Ricotta Pizza |

So now on to this pizza!  The version I originally tried was topped with pickled broccoli rabe, it was so unique and slightly tangy and I loved it so much!  In general pickled vegetables is not something I think about putting on my pizza, I’m pretty traditional when it comes to topping (no pineapple ever please) but sausage and broccoli rabe is a combination I can get behind.

If you aren’t familiar with broccoli rabe it’s a leafy green, with thin stalks and flower buds that resemble broccoli but is actually in the turnip family.  It can be a bit bitter and is most commonly found in Italian cooking.  In general I like to give it a quick blanching before sautéing until tender to reduce the bitterness in the vegetable.

Now that my toppings were down it was time to figure out the crust.  I’ve tried recipe after recipe and ratios of my own creation but I just haven’t mastered it myself.  I rather refer to the experts on this matter, which is why I love using the dough recipe from Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick.   Sure it takes time but it’s completely worth the wait!

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pizza
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  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound Italian fennel sausage
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • Roberta's Pizza Dough Recipe


  1. Prepare Roberta's Pizza Dough recipe according to the directions 3-4 hours in advance or overnight.
  2. Once the dough is prepared, divide it into 4 small rounds, set aside but keep covered to prevent drying.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and blanch the broccoli rabe for 2 minutes and then plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the broccoli rabe and saute with the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
  5. Remove the sausage from the casings and crumble in the same saute pan, adding more olive oil if necessary. Cook over medium heat until the sausage is browned and cooked all the way through. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the pan to a small bowl.
  6. To prepare the pizza, heat your oven to 475 - 500 degrees F. (depending how high your oven will go) and stretch out one of the pizza rounds to 8 to 10 inches. It's fine if it isn't a perfect round.
  7. In a small bowl, season the ricotta with salt and pepper and mix in the parmesan cheese.
  8. Spread on 1/4 cup of the ricotta cheese on the pizza, top with a 1/4 of the broccoli rabe, 4 ounces of mozzarella, a 1/4 of the sausage and a few red pepper flakes. Drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the pizza has a nice dark golden crust. A little char is a good thing on your pizza crust.
  9. Repeat with the remaining pizza rounds.
  10. Each pizza serves 1 person.
Recipe Type: Main

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Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Ricotta Pizza |

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