My challenge here is to get through this post without complaining about winter/cold/snow OR the fact that I wrote this entire blog post yesterday and this morning the entire thing had vanished. Poof! I was seriously ready to cry big crocodile tears, but being the stubborn Scot that I am, I’m just going to suck it up. After all, there’s no crying in the kitchen now, is there!
I will say that this pasta dish is absolutely magnificent and the fact that it can be cooked, start to finish, in well under thirty minutes makes it even more so. This is “country casual” food at its best! Just begin with simple, but hearty ingredients:
Then it’s just a matter of browning the sausage, simmering the garlic in the broth along with the escarole, cannellni beans and Parmigiana Reggiano and cooking some pasta. It’s crazy how easy this is. I highly recommend serving with bread so you can soak up every bit of the garlicky broth and a glass of hefty red wine (I’m thinking a nice Rosso di Montalcino would pair nicely).
This dish can be varied in many ways to suit your dietary needs. Feel free to substitute turkey sausage and whole grain pasta. You can even go the vegetarian route and use vegetarian sausage (Field Roast Brand has received high marks and is available at Whole Foods) along with vegetable broth. My one and only caveat with this recipe is that is best served immediately. I am the queen of leftovers, but this dish just does not stand up as well to chilling and re-heating, so there you have it. Full disclosure always here on DIS.
And now I better get this thing published before POOF happens again. I may be a stubborn Scot, but if this thing disappears again, I’m toast. Happy cooking everyone!
Rigatoni with Sweet Sausage, Escarole, Cannellini Beans and Garlic Broth
1 pound mild or hot Italian sausage
3 medium or 2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1-2 heads escarole, torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1 cup drained and rinsed canned cannellini beans (from one 15-ounce can)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano, plus more for serving
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
3/4 pound rigatoni
- In a large deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, cut it into slices.
- Put the garlic and the broth in the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the escarole, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Gently stir in the sausage, beans, Parmesan, salt, pepper and optional red pepper and simmer 1 minute longer.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 14 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve with additional Parmesan.