Individual size pizzas topped with creamy mozzarella, bitter broccoli rabe and sweet golden garlic make a robustly flavorful, impressive focus for a meatless meal.
- For the dough:
- 1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
- 1 (.75 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- For the topping:
- 1 large bunch broccoli rabe about 1 1/2 pounds, woody stems trimmed
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 8 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cut into 2-inch x 1/2-inch strips
- 18 grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Course: Appetizer
- For the dough, combine the water, yeast, oil, sugar and salt in a small bowl and let stand until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Place flour in a second bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir together to for a rough dough then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place (about 85°F) until doubled in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
- While the dough rises, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe, return to a boil and cook 2 minutes; drain, rinse under cold water and drain again, squeezing out any excess liquid. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic just starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and cook, tossing often, until heated through and garlic is browned, about 2-3 minutes remove from the heat and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Combine the ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Deflate the dough by pressing down on it and divide it into 6 equal pieces and shape each into a bowl. Working one piece of dough at a time, roll out it out on a lightly floured surface into an 8-inch circle. Repeat with the remaining dough. Divide the dough between two large baking sheets. Brush the tops of each with the remaining oil. Top each with the ricotta cheese mixture and spread it evenly over the dough leaving a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch border around the edge. Top with the broccoli rabe, mozzarella and grape tomato halves.
- Bake the pizzettas, rotating the pans up and down and front to back at least once, until the crusts are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 14-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 3 minutes before cutting each into wedges.