This recipe was inspired by two things: a pizza seen on a newly discovered (to me) blog, Healthy Food For Living, and my favorite pasta dishes at a restaurant that I love outside of Boston called Tre Monte. I love the flavors of broccoli rabe and sausage together, and I learned tonight that it doesn’t have to involve pasta for it to be awesome. Enter the weeknight pizza. A rich pesto made out of blanched broccoli rabe, pistachio nuts, pecorino and ricotta cheeses, spread atop whole wheat pizza dough and covered in browned chicken sausage and shredded cheese. I learned from Lauren at Healthy Food for Living that the frozen whole wheat pizza at whole foods is the bomb. It really is. I may never make pizza dough myself ever again. Hooray for that!
Sausage and Broccoli Rabe and Pistachio Pesto Pizza
For the pesto (you’ll only need half a batch for this recipe, but the rest will freeze well):
What I used:
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped (stems removed and discarded)
- 1/2 cup raw, shelled, toasted pistachios
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
What I did:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously and add the broccoli rabe to cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse in cold water until cool to the touch.
- Squeeze out as much water you can from the broccoli rabe, and transfer to a food processor. Add the pistachios and pecorino, and process into a paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil until smooth. Add the ricotta and pulse to combine. Reserve for later.
For the pizza:
What I used:
- 1 pound pizza dough (I am newly in love with the frozen whole wheat pizza from whole foods)
- 1/2 lb italian chicken or turkey sausage, removed from the casings
- 1/2 cup cabot 50% reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 batch broccoli rabe pesto
- red pepper flakes
- kosher salt, black pepper
- flour for rolling (I used white whole wheat flour, my go-to)
- olive oil for finishing (optional)
What I did:
- Preheat oven to 450 with a pizza stone.
- Crumble and brown the chicken sausage in a little olive oil over medium-high heat until cooked through. Season with a pinch of red pepper flakes and reserve.
- Roll the pizza dough out on a work surface so that it’s the right size for your pizza stone (if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a pre-heated inverted regular baking sheet).
- Transfer the dough to the preheated pizza stone and spread the pesto over the dough in an even layer. Sprinkle on the cooked sausage, then the shredded cheeses. Another sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you like then pop it in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Once the pizza is lightly browned on the bottom and top, remove from the oven, drizzle with a little olive oil, and serve.