- Prep Time
- 1 large loaf semolina bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 large onion—peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 large heads (about 1-1/2 pounds) broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups shredded provolone or Asiago cheese
Preheat the broiler. Toast half of the bread slices at a time on a baking sheet. Rub both sides of the toast with the cut garlic and drizzle 1/2 cup EVOO over the slices.
While the bread is working, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover and boil until the liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees . Layer half of the bread in a 9-by-13-inch casserole; spread with half of the broccoli mixture and top with the ricotta, a few ladles of the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Layer the remaining bread slices, broccoli mixture, remaining sauce and all of the provolone cheese on top. Bake until brown and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.