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Roasted Broccoli Rabe & 3-Cheese Hero


by Rachael Ray

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  • For the Broccoli Rabe:
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, about 1 large bunch or 2 small bundles, split thicker stalks
  • lengthwise and trim off the tough and fibrous ends (substitute a few bundles of broccolini
  • for milder choice)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), if making meat-fre
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Calabrian chili paste, or 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • Salt
  • If making with sausage:
  • 2 links each sweet Italian sausage with fennel seed and hot Italian sausage, remove
  • casings, optional
  • For the Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich Spread:
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not oil-packed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted in oven or skillet to golden
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar, red or white
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • About 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, EVOO
  • For ricotta spread:
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta, sheep or cow milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • EVOO, a drizzle
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt
  • build sandwiches:
  • 4 hero rolls, 10-12-inch Italian bread-style rolls, split
  • 1 pound smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • Pickled sliced cherry peppers, optional


Servings 4
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 30mins


Step 1

For the broccoli rabe, preheat oven to 450˚F with rack 1 rung above center. Toss broccoli
rabe with EVOO, garlic, about 2 teaspoons lemon zest, chili paste or flakes and salt.
Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes until leaves of
tops of florets are crisp and the ribs are just tender-crisp. Douse with juice of the lemon.
If making with sausage, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add half tablespoon of
EVOO. Brown and crumble sweet and hot sausage. Drain and reserve.
For the tomato spread, place sun-dried tomatoes in bowl and cover with boiling water. Let
stand 15 minutes, drain and coarsely chop.
Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes to food processor bowl with the pine nuts, garlic,
vinegar, pepper, oregano or marjoram, and basil, pulse 10-12 times to chop, then stream in
EVOO until a thick sauce forms. Remove to small bowl or jar.
For the ricotta spread, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, thyme, lemon zest, salt and a
drizzle of EVOO.
Spread ricotta on bottom of the rolls. Top the cheese with sausage crumbles, if using, and
arrange the roasted broccoli rabe, dividing among 4 roll bottoms. Arrange the smoked
mozzarella shingled with provolone on top of the broccoli rabe and broil to melt the
Spread the roll tops with sun-dried tomato spread. Add pepper rings, if using. Set the roll
tops in place, cut to serve.

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