- 8ounce penne pasta, uncooked
- 2tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 2 1/2pound Italian sausage (mild or hot), cut into 2” slices
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 large bunch of escarole, coarsely chopped
- 1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2cup white wine
- 1/4cup chicken stock*
- 2tablespoon butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2cup Freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional
* I like to cut the white wine with a little chicken stock, but you may use all chicken stock or all white wine.
Escarole is related to chicory and while rather bland raw, acquires a slightly tart, earthy taste when cooked. It is the perfect green to compliment the hearty sausage and really soaks up the buttery wine sauce. It is not so bitter, however, to overpower the dish. Kids, surprisingly, like it served this way which is a great way to get a bitter green into their diet.
I have not tried to supplement any other greens in the recipe, as the escarole is what gives this dish its distinct (and addictive) flavor, but if you find another green you’d like to substitute, let me know.
This dish is easy to make gluten free by eating it by itself (my preference) or with rice-based penne pasta (my favorite line is Tinkyada).
I regularly make this with chicken Italian sausage with just as good success.
Even though this is an Italian dish and should be cooked in olive oil, my cooking oil of choice is coconut. So when I prepare this in coconut oil, I usually finish it tableside with a good drizzle of olive oil.
Try not to skip the butter. It really adds a layer of flavor that is very distinct to this dish. Keep in mind that a high quality, grass fed butter, as well as olive oil are healthy fats. Don’t be afraid to include them in your cooking. In braised dishes such as this sausage, beans and greens recipe, they are used in small amount but add huge flavor.