In my vain attempt to get Miss Toddler S to eat a wider variety of vegetables, I’ve opted to make quick pasta dishes like this one, which includes escarole and white beans—one of my favored combinations. Though the rotini topped with the most grated parmesan trumped, for the most part, the vegetables, she’ll have plenty of chances to aim for them next time: this dish is so good I’ll be making it again.
Pasta with escarole, white beans and chicken sausage
3/4 pound whole-wheat rotini (or other small shape) pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces lowfat Italian-style chicken sausage, casings removed, crumbled
1 medium head escarole, rinsed, drained and chopped, about 8 cups
1(14-ounce) can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce grated Parmesan (I grate it myself)
Make the pasta
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large, deep sauté pan or 8-quart stockpot. Sauté the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in the sausage and cook until heated through and browned, about 4 minutes. Add the escarole and cook until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beans, 1 cup of chicken stock, sage and red pepper flakes and simmer until the mixture is heated through and liquid is slightly reduced. Add the sausage-bean mixture to pasta and toss well, loosening with the additional 1/2 cup chicken stock if necessary. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste.
Divide into bowls and top with freshly-grated parmesan cheese.