Today’s entry is, like the kalua pork and broccoli and cheese pasta from last week, courtesy of Skinnytaste. Yes, I’m still obsessed with it, and plan to make at least a dozen more recipes from that blog. 🙂 This pasta with Italian sausage, escarole and beans was a huge hit with Johnny and the boys. The combination of garlicky greens, flavorful Italian sausage and hearty beans makes this a meal that can satisfy even the biggest appetite. I used whole-wheat penne and turkey Italian sausage; the dish tasted just as good as if I’d used regular penne and pork sausage. What’s more, each 1.5-cup serving will only cost you 332 calories — score!
Makes six 1.5-cup servings
- 10 oz pasta (I used whole-wheat penne)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 12 oz uncooked Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing (you can substitute turkey Italian sausage if you can’t find chicken)
- 1/2 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium head (7-8 cups) escarole rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces (I couldn’t find escarole, so I used a big bag of pre-washed, cut collard greens instead; it was wonderful!)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
Prep the escarole by rinsing and tearing into bite-sized pieces. Cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted water. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
While the pasta is boiling, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and saute until soft (4-5 minutes). Add the sausage (removed from casings), breaking the meat up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked (6-8 minutes). Transfer the contents of the skillet to a dish.
Add chicken broth and beans to the now-empty skillet.Add the greens and cook until wilted (about 4 minutes; I put the lid on the skillet to aid this process).
When the greens are wilted, add the pasta, reserved water, and sausage/garlic/onion mixture back into the skillet, along with the 1/4 cup of cheese, and toss until combined. Serve immediately, topping each serving with extra cheese if desired.
p.s. Vegetarians and vegans can easily adapt the recipe — see notes on the original recipe!