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- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus a drizzle for ricotta
- 1 pound sweet sausage with fennel, cut from casing
- 1½ to 2 cups fresh ricotta
- Salt and white or fine black pepper
- About ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
- One small handful parsley, chopped
- ⅓ to ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- 2 bunches broccolini, trimmed of ends 1 inch, blanched in salt water, cold shocked and drained
- 2 large shallots (or 1 small onion), thinly sliced or chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste (or 2 small red chilies, chopped)
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 loaf Italian bread with sesame seeds on top
- One 12-ounce sack shredded mozzarella cheese, or two 8-ounce sacks and reserve 4 ounces for another use
- Hot or sweet pickled cherry peppers
Preheat oven to 375˚F with rack at center.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon EVOO and brown and crumble the sausage. Transfer to drain on a small platter lined with paper towels.
Combine ricotta with salt, white or black pepper, nutmeg, parsley, drizzle of olive oil, parmesan cheese, and lemon zest.
Chop broccolini into bite-sized pieces.
Heat skillet again with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, add shallots or onions and season with a little salt, stir a couple of minutes to soften, add garlic, Calabrian chili paste or two small red chilies, broccolini and toss 2 to 3 minutes more, add splash of water (about ¼ cup) and juice of lemon, toss a minute more and remove from heat.
Halve bread and scoop out excess center softer bits from top. Spread the bottom of the bread with the ricotta and top with sausage, broccolini mixture, mozzarella, pickled peppers and bread top. Press to set the stuffed loaf and wrap in foil with seam on top of loaf. Bake 20 minutes, open foil and raise temp to 425˚F, bake about 5 minutes more to brown, then let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Remove foil and place on large cutting board and cut into sections to serve.