At this time of year, as the weather warms up, I tend to prefer light and delicate pizzas that aren’t too heavy. But once in a while you want to combine rich, bold flavors with a pizza that’s still fresh enough for late spring or early summer, and that’s what this one does. The broccoli rabe is bold and flavorful, the ricotta salata is bright and salty, the chili flakes add a punch of heat, and the tomatoes are sweet enough to balance everything out.
The only real trick to making this pizza is to ensure that you press down the broccoli rabe a little bit on the pizza as you make it. It has a tendency to poke up, which can lead to some charring in the oven. A bit of char is fine (and adds a delightful smoky dimension to the final flavors), but of course you don’t want the pizza to be covered in burned greens. So put it on the pizza, press it down, and use the mozzarella cubes to hold down any particularly stubborn bits that stick up, if necessary.
Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta Salata, Grape Tomatoes, and Chili FlakesPrint Pin Rate
- 1 pizza dough ball (either basic pizza dough or 2-hour pizza dough is fine)
- 3 ounces broccoli rabe
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 to 6 grape tomatoes
- 4 ounces mozzarella, cut into cubes
- 1 ounce ricotta salata
- chili flakes
Roast the broccoli rabe and halve the grape tomatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with your pizza stone inside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the 3 ounces of broccoli rabe with enough olive oil to generously coat, along with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. As soon as the broccoli rabe is done, remove the baking sheet containing it from the oven and turn the heat up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the 5 to 6 grape tomatoes in half from top to bottom.
Prepare and bake the pizza:
- Stretch the dough to an approximately 12” round. Brush with olive oil, then top with the 4 ounces of cubed mozzarella.
- Arrange the roasted broccoli rabe evenly over the pizza. Top with the halved grape tomatoes.
- Bake the pizza on the stone until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden-brown, turning once halfway through.
- When the pizza is done, shave 1 ounce of ricotta salata on top. Sprinkle with chili flakes to taste.
Uh, never heard of cooking a pizza at 350. Plus a stone AND a pan too? Crazy. Making tonight. Hope you are right …duh. just saw the “crank up” well, that’s too hot so I’ll tweak recipe. Thanks…I think
Hi Susan! Let’s troubleshoot. 🙂 My best guess is that your oven is in Celsius, when these temperatures are in Fahrenheit, as the recipe clearly states. I can understand how that would make them sound unusually hot. To convert: 350 Fahrenheit is about 175 Celsius, and 550 Fahrenheit is about 290 Celsius.
If you actually think 550 F with a pizza stone is too hot… well, we must have very different experiences! In my years of working at multiple high-end gourmet pizzerias, the ovens were almost always at least 650+ Fahrenheit (340 C), sometimes with a secondary oven at around 550 Fahrenheit (290 C) for occasional pizzas that required slower cooking (like those with egg on top). Not convinced? I’d like to invite you to read this piece by The Pizza Heaven, which suggests 905 F (485 C). Similarly, Pizza Planet explains that “Most commercial pizza ovens cook at temperatures ranging from 700 to 800 degrees.” So you see, my temperatures are actually lowered to be as realistic as possible for the home cook in a standard home oven.
As for the stone and the pan, I imagine that once you actually read the recipe, you learned that the pan (baking sheet) was for preparing the toppings, not for baking the pizza.
This is a very thorough response because I genuinely want you (and other readers) to experience amazing pizza! But approaching someone with “Crazy,” “duh,” “that’s too hot,” and “Thanks…I think” is pretty unpleasant and unnecessary.