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Throwdown's Deep Dish Pizza with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Serves: Yields Two 9- or 10- inch deep dish pizzas


Italian Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Filling
1 large bunch broccoli rabe, washed and coarsely chopped 
4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound hot Italian sausage links, casings removed

1.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli rabe and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run cold water over. Drain well again.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, chile flakes and garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe, salt and pepper and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. 
3. In a separate large sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the sausage links and using a wooden spoon, gently break up the meat into coarse pieces. Cook until golden brown. (you do not need to cook all the way because it will continue to cook in the oven. Combine the sausage and the broccoli rabe and let cool slightly. 

Dough
2 packages quick rise dry yeast
2 cups warm water (90 degrees)
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup olive oil, plus more to oil the pans
½ cup yellow cornmeal
5 ½ cups AP flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened

1.Dissolve the yeast and water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the oils and mix for 30 seconds. Add the cornmeal and 3 cups of the flour and let beat for 5 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining 2 ½ cups of flour and knead, using the dough hook for 2 minutes. Add the butter and knead until incorporated. The dough is a very moist dough so do not add more flour unless absolutely needed. 
2. Place the dough in a large bowl lightly oiled with vegetable oil, cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towels and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes? Punch down the dough and allow to double in size again. 
3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Generously oil two 9 or 10-inch deep dish pie pans with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons for each pan). Divide the dough in half and press the dough out slightly on the counter top. Place the dough in the prepared pans and push out to cover the bottom and up the side of the pans. 


Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
32 ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and oregano, bring to a boil and cook until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.


Assemble
½ pound aged provolone, coarsely grated
½ pound fontina cheese, coarsely grated
Sausage and broccoli rabe filling
Tomato sauce
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Combine the cheese in a bowl. Place half of the cheese over the bottom of each pie crust. Divide the sausage filling over the cheese and then top with the remaining cheese…patting the cheese firm down over the filling. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the cheese to cover completely and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Let the pizza rest on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before slicing. 


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