Friday, February 3, 2012

Yum yum...sausage and pasta are healthy!

Oh goodness me, I outdid myself the other day. I managed to go to the grocery store--without a list *gasp*, and I somehow remembered not only a recipe I'd found that I wanted to try, but I managed to buy all the ingredients to make it from memory. Alas, I still have not joined the 99% of the world population who has a smart phone (yet) so I must make do with my brain.

There needs to be some sort of award for that kind of accomplishment, no?

In any case, I cobbled together a lovely pasta dish:

Pasta with sausage, escarole, and cannelini: original post from the SkinnyTaste blog.

At least that was the original title. I of course couldn't find cannelini beans and had to make do with "northern beans". Which worked fine. Thus commenced Angie's SOP of taking a recipe and immediately disregarding the directions. Still turned out nummy though, so there.  LOVED how simple and quick it was, not to mention this is a one-pot dish (well two, if you count the pot the pasta is cooked in), so easy peasy clean up as well.

The base of the flavor is two of my favorite ingredients: garlic and onion, chopped.

warning, if you don't like garlic, you will not like this dish. but who doesn't like garlic? besides my breath.

They get tossed into a saucepan (I have a deep one with a lid that is my bread and butter), cook a little in olive oil, then add your sausage (free it from the casing), and some red pepper flakes if you like heat. I used Jennie-O's Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage because I am a no-pork gal. Plus turkey is healthier.

Also, cook your pasta al dente, then set aside.

 Sizzle sizzle. Then add chicken stock and your beans and let that come to a simmer.

Hubby had never heard of escarole before. I had to spell it for him. But I'd actually never eaten/cooked it before, so this was a first for both of us! It's like lettuce and cabbage all in one. I used an entire head of it for this, rinsed and chopped into ~2 inch pieces.

Once the pan is simmering, add all the escarole directly to it. No worries, it ends up wilting down to a manageable volume as it cooks.


After the escarole is cooked and the liquid has reduced a little, add your cooked pasta to the pan. Gently toss to mix everything up evenly, and add some salt and pepper to season, along with a generous handful of parm.

Tada! Finished product.

I topped it with a little extra cheese to serve it.

 Twas delish. Hubby made a point of simultaneously eating and questioning and affirming the taste of the dish. He was preoccupied with the escarole, but decided it was very good in the end. Obviously.

excuse me, your foot is in the way of the deliciousness.
1 lb pasta
3-5 links of sausage, removed from casing (depends on if you like more meat or less meat)
1 head of escarole, washed and chopped (7-8 cups)
1 can cannelini (or other white) beans, rinsed and drained of the gross bean syrup.
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to season
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
2. In a deep saucepan or pot, saute garlic and onions in olive oil, ~1 min. You won't need a lot of oil because fat renders out of the sausage.
3. Add sausage to pan and break apart as it cooks. Add red pepper flakes here if desired.
*I like to add the red pepper asap in cooking because the heat releases the flavor and spices.*
4. Once sausage is cooked, add in the chicken stock and beans, and heat to a simmer.
5. Add in the escarole, tossing carefully to coat. Cover and let cook down, ~4 min, tossing occasionally.
6. Add in the cooked pasta and parmesan cheese and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Top with a little extra parm and serve! Enjoy~!

P.S. Hubby is awesome because...he is always willing to try new foods, even when he's pretty sure he won't like it.

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