Pizza with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
1. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and place the ball of dough in it. Brush the surface with more olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.
2. Prepare the broccoli rabe according to Basic Recipe for Sauteeing Broccoli Rabe, or for Extra-Virgin Olive Oil-Poached Broccoli Rabe, and drain off any excess liquid before topping the pizza with the greens.
3. Warm a stick-proof skillet over medium heat and toss in the chili pepper, if using, and the crumbled sausage. Sautee until sausage is lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
4. Preheat an oven to 500 degrees F. Stretch the dough onto a lightly oiled, cornmeal-dusted pizza pan or baking sheet. Prick the surface. Brush the rim lightly with olive oil and arrange the cooked broccoli rabe and sausage on the pie and over that, the cheese, if using.
5. Slide the pizza onto the middle rack of the oven and bake until the edges are puffy and browned and the dough is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Allow to settle for 5 minutes before cutting.
VARIATION: Substitute crumbled fresh chorizo or lamb merguez for Italian pork sausage.
VEGETARIAN OPTION: Eliminate the sausage; layer 2 cups of the shredded or thinly sliced cheese directly on the pizza base; top with the broccoli rabe and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
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