Italian Pasta, Greens, and Beans

There are a lot of textures in this pasta dish, which makes it a delight to devour. Frying the fresh Rosemary first, not only infuses the olive oil in your pot but gives you a nice crunch on top of the final dish.


When choosing an Italian sausage to crumble in this meal, consider your audience. I have a better chance of the kids eating this when I use sweet Italian sausage, although my personal preference is to use hot sausage. I also purposefully leave the kale in large pieces so that I can easily avoid scooping them into the kids bowls.



Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch EVOO)

2 sprigs rosemary

8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed

1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed, patted dry (Chickpeas work too)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup dry white wine

12 ounces pasta (I used Orchetta this time)

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 bunch kale (about 8 cups lightly packed. Escarole or Swiss chard work too)

1 cup finely grated Parmesan

4 tablespoons butter


Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Fry rosemary, turning, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.


Add sausage to same pot and cook, breaking into large chunks until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.


Add beans and garlic to pot and cook, tossing occasionally and mashing half with a spoon, until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer half of the beans to the plate with sausage. Add wine to pot, bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 minutes until liquid is almost completely evaporated.


Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions.


Reserve 2 cups of pasta water, then transfer drained pasta to pot with beans and add the greens along with 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Toss everything together with tongs until greens are wilted, and sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Add another ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid, then gradually add ½ cup cheese, tossing until melted and dissolved into a glossy sauce. Thin with more pasta cooking liquid if needed. Season with pepper, and more salt if needed. Add butter and toss to combine, then mix in reserved sausage and beans.


Divide pasta among bowls. Crumble rosemary over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese before serving.

© 2018 by Mandy Begley | Leander, Texas

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