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Beans and Greens Sausage Pasta

Beans and greens sausage pasta with escarole, baby spinach, cannellini beans, and sweet fennel sausage in garlicky white wine sauce and finished with plenty of Pecorino Romano. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 871kcal
Author James

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 ½ pounds bulk fennel sausage see notes
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 bunch escarole rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans drained
  • 3 cups reserved pasta water will most likely not need all of it
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • ½ cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley minced

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • In a very large pan, saute the sausage in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Break up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon. Once brown and cooked through (about 7 minutes) remove the sausage to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm, and set aside.
  • Add the remaining olive oil and garlic to the pan and cook the garlic until golden (about 2 minutes) then add in the red pepper flakes and escarole along with a ¼ cup of water. Add a pinch of salt to the escarole and saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add the wine and turn heat to medium-high. Reduce the liquid by half (about 2-3 minutes) then turn the heat down to medium once more. At this time begin boiling the pasta and cook to 1 minute less than al dente.
  • Add the beans to the pan and saute with the escarole. Mash roughly half of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon. Add a couple of ladles of pasta water to keep everything moist.
  • A few minutes before the pasta is ready add the sausage back to the pan along with 1 cup of pasta water and mix well.
  • Add the pasta to the pan and continue to cook stirring frequently. Cook the pasta right until it reaches al dente then add the spinach and mix together. Cover the pan tightly then turn off the heat. The residual heat will wilt the spinach in roughly 2 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add the Pecorino and parsley and toss to combine. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper levels. If the pasta is at all dry add more of the reserved pasta water to get the perfect consistency. Serve with more grated Pecorino. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Double the amount of spinach if you can't find escarole.
  • If you can't find fennel sausage, just add 1-2 teaspoons of fennel seeds while cooking the sausage.  
  • Wine can be omitted.  Just add a bit more pasta water to make up the difference.
  • Always reserve pasta water.  If the pasta dries out before serving, just add a few ounces of the pasta water at a time to bring the consistency right back to perfect.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge.  Reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 871kcal | Carbohydrates: 61.5g | Protein: 35.3g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 13.7g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 949mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3.3g | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 5mg