Pasta, not Croissants
Today, I am supposed to be posting about croissants for twd, but I have not had time to make them. Honestly. I keep thinking that next week will be less busy and it just never happens. Well, I have every intention of getting to the croissants. It’s just not going to happen today. Maybe tomorrow. We’re supposed to be getting a snowstorm, so I may have to declare a snow day and make croissants. Wouldn’t that be fun?
In the meantime, I give you a recipe for a very tasty pasta dish I have been making lately with my new favorite green leafy veg, escarole. Have you ever had escarole? It’s kind of like a sturdy lettuce. In fact, I once bought lettuce once, thinking it was escarole, but it was not. It’s actually a member of the endive family, and, when eaten raw, it does remind me of endive, with its mildly bitter flavor. However, when you cook escarole, it changes into a wonderfully sweet and crunchy vegetable, with no hint of bitterness whatsoever.
I’ve been using it in this pasta recipe, inspired by a recipe in Rustic Italian Food. This is an easy recipe that can be made in about 30 minutes. It is so tasty that I have to put the pasta pot in the kitchen so that I don’t end up eating all of it myself. Even then, it is tempting to just “have a tiny bit more” several times, until I have eaten way more than I intended. There is not enough escarole in the dish for my taste, but the rest of the family thinks it’s enough. I love how escarole keeps its crunch, even when it is cooked, and it becomes deliciously sweet, especially when paired with the carrots.
Pasta with Escarole, Sausage, and Cannellini
1 pound mild italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 medium carrots, small dice
2-3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup white wine
1 head escarole, washed, spun, and chopped coarsely into 1 inch slices
1 14.5 ounce can white cannellini (kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound dry pasta shells, bowties, whatever shape you like
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1. Remove the sausage from its casing and brown over medium heat in a 12 inch nonstick skillet. When it is mostly browned, add the onions and carrots and a sprinkling of salt. Sautee until the onions are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine, cover, and simmer over med-low heat for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta for recommended time. Drain, reserving a cup of pasta liquid for finishing the dish. Return the pasta to the pot and let rest while finishing up the sauce.
4. When the wine is mostly gone, add the escarole to the pan and stir until wilted. Then, add the drained beans. Stir and cook everything over medium heat until everything is hot.
5. Pour the sausage mixture into the pot with the pasta. Toss in the cheese and mix gently until everything is evenly distributed. Add some pasta liquid if things are getting to sticky or stiff.
6. Serve with extra cheese on the side. Makes 6-8 servings, 10-12 if half your of your family/guests are children.