Pizza With Rapini & Italian Sausage

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IMG_9802While I was writing my book and researching info on Mediterranean cooking, I learned that the foraging of wild greens went beyond Greece – folks in Italy, southern France and in the Balkans like their bitter greens…and so should you!

Here in Canada, we don’t have the wealth of wild greens available to us in the countryside but there are many alternatives and they are to be found at your local farmer’s market or even supermarket!

A favourite here in Canada and the US has to be rapini, a bitter green with thick stalks, broad leaves and a hint of a look much like broccolini. Some call rapini cimi di rapa or broccoli raab. Anyway you like to call it, we have the Italians who settled in California near the turn of the 20th century for bringing this delicious green to North America.

Rapini is the base ingredient for this delicious pizza I made yesterday. It’s a source of vitamins A and C, high in iron and calcium. The other ingredient in this pizza is Italian sausage meat, another product widely available now in your local supermarket or favourite butcher’s shop. The great thing about thus pizza is that it has the decadence of the sausage, the health benefits from the rapini and the look, the contrast in colour makes it a beauty too!

Next time it’s pizza night, try it with rapini and Italian sausage…it could become your family’s new fave.IMG_9787-001

Pizza With Rapini & Italian Sausage

(serves 4)

1/2 pizza dough recipe

approx. 1 cup of jarred tomato pasata (sauce)

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

approx. 3 cups of rapini

3 cloves of  garlic, smashed

1 spicy Italian sausage


all-purpose flour

corn meal

pizza paddle

pizza stone

pizza cutterIMG_9773



  1. To make the dough, add the water, olive oil, sugar, yeast into a medium size bowl and allow the yeast about 5-6 minutes to activate. Now add the salt and flour and knead with your hands until a smooth ball of dough is formed (not too sticky). Drizzle with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot in your kitchen and allow to double in size (about 90 minutes).
  2. In the meantime, place a medium sized pot of water on your stovetop and bring up to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and once aboil, add your garlic and rapini and blanche for about 4 minutes. Remove from a strainer and run under cold water until cooled, then drain. Place in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and mash the garlic, toss and reserve.
  3. One your dough has doubled in size, sprinkle some flour on your pizza paddle roll out the dough into your pizza shape. Lift the underside of the dough and sprinkle cornmeal underneath so that the you’ll be able to slide your pizza on your pre-heated pizza stone. Pre-heat your oven to 450F, place the pizza stone on the rack set to middle position and add the minced garlic, black pepper and oregano to your sauce and mix. Spread the sauce on your pizza dough then top with mozzarella and spread the reserved rapini over the cheese.
  4. Now slice open the casing of your sausage and remove the meat (discard the casing). Roll the meat into little meatballs and scatter over your pizza.
  5. Once your oven has hit 450F, slide your pizza on the hot pizza stone and bake for approx 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the outer crust has just browned. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before slicing. Serve a bottle of Terradorra Anglianco 2009 red.IMG_9789

© 2013,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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11 Comments for “Pizza With Rapini & Italian Sausage”


It has been many years since I have made my own pizza dough since my good friends are Italian and own a pizza place, but I do love the idea of rapini and sausage.



Excellent combination! in a Pizza or plain straight up Rapini with grilled Italian sausages, hot or sweet.
Or even on a panini Rapini and pulled Pork.

There are two more bitter greens from Greece that I love:
“Roka” that makes a beautiful salad,
and “Italika Radikia”, boiled and served as a salad with Olive oil and lemon, hot or cold.

Bravo Pallikari mou!!!


Oh Peter – I do believe you’re part Italian. You just won my heart with that pizza. I’m a big fan of broccoli rape, rapini, or whatever you want to call it. I still manage to forage the wild stuff around here each spring and load up my freezer with it for the rest of the year.


This is an absolutely beautiful looking pizza. I happen to make a pretty decent pie and this one looks gorgeous. I look forward to trying your recipe. YUM!!


A descendent of a wild herb, rapini (a.k.a. broccoli rabe) was originally grown in China or the Meditterranean basin. Now available year-round in Canada, rapini is considered a nutritional powerhouse and culinary gem with aa delicious flavour.

Sabrina Nughat


It’s a delicious Pizza. I think i order it now. It’s full of vitamin and iron.