Guys, this is one of the best dinners I have made in a long time. I am so happy to share it with you all!
The idea for this dinner began when I read Alexandra Cook’s post on how much she loves sautéed escarole as a winter side. She makes the point that by February, we have roasted so many veggies that cooked greens hit the spot and are so easy. When I grabbed a few heads of escarole at the store, I got to thinking. Wouldn’t they be delicious in soups or pastas? The answer is yes and yes.
I looked around at other recipes online, and one of them was very similar to a simple pasta dish our family loves making combining these ingredients.
We usually make ours with broccoli or spinach (fresh or frozen) and use any pasta shape. I merged ours with one I found on Epicurious. And the result was amazing. I give all the credit to that glorious trio of shallots, garlic and wine cooked together to give such a delicious base. And the pasta water helps create the most luxurious sauce. Trust me, you are going to want to try it. And then make it again because it is sooo yummy.
The acid from the wine, the slight bitterness from the escarole, the sweetness of the tomatoes and the heat from the sausage, the comforting pasta, all covered in the delicious sauce is so well balanced. And the crispy fried rosemary on top is genius. I can’t stop thinking about how many other dishes I can use it on.
Just all around something I would drive to a restaurant far away to order again and again.
This one will be on heavy rotation because it is so easy, and so satisfying. Hope you get to try it soon too!
Happy eating, xoxo Katie
Sausage, Escarole and Tomato Pasta
1 pound tubular pasta like paccheri or rigatoni
2 sprigs Rosemary
1/3 cup olive oil
20 oz. turkey sausage (or any kind you prefer)
2 shallots, finely diced (1/3 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 heads (about 8 cups) escarole, torn into pieces
1/2 cup parmesan plus more for serving
Bring pot of salted water to boil for pasta. You will need some of the pasta water for the sauce so be sure to reserve.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium high heat. Fry rosemary, turning until crisp about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towel to drain.
Add sausage to the same pot and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon or fork and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through about 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. While sausage cooks, start boiling pasta, setting timer for 3 minutes less than the packages cooking time.
Be sure there is still enough oil in pot, if not add more to equal about 1 T. Add shallots to pot and let cook for 2-3 minutes to soften, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and let cook for a minute before adding wine. Scrap up the bottom bits in the pan and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
With a slotted spoon or spider, transfer pasta to pot with tomatoes, then add escarole and 1 cup pasta liquid. Cook, tossing until escarole is wilted, pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Add another 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid then gradually add 1/2 cup cheese, tossing until melted into a glossy sauce. Thin with more pasta water if desired, season with pepper and more salt if needed (you probably won’t if your pasta water is salted.) Add sausage back into pasta and stir to combine.
Divide pasta in bowls, and crumble rosemary on top and sprinkle with more parmesean cheese.