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 cheese.
Spread the roll tops with sun-dried tomato spread. Add pepper rings, if using. Set the roll tops in place, cut to serve.