Pizza with Italian sausage, onion, and broccoli rabe – 3 July 2017

D had planned to cook, but wanted not to take off early from building the porch walls on their studio, so I offered to make this pizza. It really wanted making anyway, since I pulled the sausage from the freezer a couple days ago to let it defrost in the meat drawer.

The sausage was about 2 years in the freezer, but not seriously the worse for wear, amazingly enough. I cut off some whitened pieces that might have been freezer burned, and then took off the “skin” and broke the sausage into several large pieces. I put about 1 Tbsp of olive oil into the medium cast iron pan and heated to about med-hi and cooked the sausage in that, breaking it up into smaller bits while it cooked. When the sausage was done, I scooped it out onto a plate, and added to the pan a white onion, which I had peeled and trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and then cut into strips probably 3/8″ wide or so. The layers of the onion were quite thick, interestingly. I cooked this at a variety of heats, turning frequently, till it was softened but not completely cooked down, since I thought some integrity of the onion would be right for this pizza. I tore leaves off several stems of broccoli rabe, which we found too bitter to enjoy by itself when we steamed it the other day, and cooked them 2 minutes in boiling, salted water, then drained and left to dry on a towel till needed.

I grated 4 oz mozzarella and possibly 1 oz, maybe more, of parmaggiano, and mixed them. I also put about 1 Tbsp olive oil into a dish and added one minced clove of garlic, and let sit, possibly up to an hour.

I defrosted a 1/3-recipe crust, and when it was ready, precooked 1 1/2 minutes, then brushed with the garlic and oil, and topped with about half of the cheese mixture. I distributed the sausage bits, then the broccoli rabe leaves, over the cheese, and topped with the remaining cheese, then baked another several minutes (forgot to set a timer) till the crust looked done. It was quite a tasty pizza. We wondered if a more opinionated cheese (Valle d’Aosta?) might have been more interesting, but overall, we really liked the pizza. Not bad for a punt to use the sausage and find a use for the broccoli rabe 🙂 Oh, D said maybe add sparse pine nuts?

D brought up a wine we got through a North Berkeley Wine sale a few years ago, a 2009 Ventoux from Martinelle. We got one bottle, then included a couple more when returning for the ones we’d liked. I think this one made it via the “pretty good for $9.63” criterion, but I’ve always thought we really shouldn’t have bought more. We enjoyed it fine, notably after a bunch of airing, but it really doesn’t rise to the level of inviting taste that we should be insisting on.

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