Penne pasta is tossed with garlicky escarole, lean Italian chicken sausage, cannellini beans, crushed red pepper and grated cheese. I cannot even begin to describe how good this is, I hope the photos can at least do this dish some justice! If you can't find escarole use kale.
I've tried many alternatives to Italian pork sausage, not because I don't like pork but because I have a hard time finding lean pork sausage. I'm a bit picky when it comes to Italian food growing up here in New York where we're surrounded by great Italian restaurants and stores so finding a good sausage alternative is not easy. I must say, I'm pretty impressed with Al Fresco's uncooked Italian sweet chicken sausage if your lucky enough to find that near you give it a try. I can't vouch for their cooked sausages since I haven't tried them. Turkey Italian sausage would work just as well in this dish.
This pasta is a winner with everyone in my home, even the picky kids. You can easily make this gluten free by using brown rice pasta. Or make it vegetarian by leaving the sausage out, using vegetable broth and adding another cup of beans. Enjoy!!
Penne with Italian Chicken Sausage, Escarole and Beans
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups • Points +: 8 pts • Smart Points: 10
Calories: 331.9 • Fat: 8.6 g • Protein: 22.5 g • Carb: 44.7 g • Fiber: 8.0 g • Sugar: 0.8
Sodium: 525.9 (without salt)
- 10 oz Ronzoni Smart taste pasta (or whole wheat or low carb)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 12 oz uncooked Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing (Al Fresco)
- 1/2 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (Eden)
- 1 medium head (7-8 cups) escarole rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
Rinse escarole and tear into bite sized pieces.
While pasta water boils, heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil; when hot add onions, garlic, salt and pepper until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside in a dish. Add chicken broth and beans to the skillet.
Add the escarole; stir and cook about 4 minutes or until wilted.
Gently stir in sausage, pasta, red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of the reserved water or more if needed and grated Parmesan. Adjust salt and pepper if needed and toss well; transfer to a large serving bowl. Enjoy with some extra cheese on the side.
For more escarole recipes you may also enjoy:
Pasta with Italian Sausage, Escarole and Peppers (Skinnytaste)
Italian Wedding Soup (Skinnytaste)
Wilted Escarole Salad with Kohlrabi, Radish Lemon and Parmesan (Kalyn's Kitchen)