This is one of my family’s weeknight go-to dishes. It has healthy proteins and greens along with hearty satisfying pasta for a complete meal in a bowl. And the marvelous textures and flavors combine to make it an easy unexpectedly elegant winner for any time you want a satisfying supper.

Sausage, Greens, and Beans Pasta

recipe by Claire Saffitz for Bon Appetit

bundles of Swiss ChardIngredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 8 ounces spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas or cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 12 ounces rigatoni, or other pasta of choice
  • Salt
  • 8 cups (lightly packed) torn spinach, kale, or Swiss chard leaves
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Fry rosemary, turning, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Add sausage to same pot and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  3. Add chickpeas to pot and cook, tossing occasionally and mashing some chickpeas with spoon, until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer about half of chickpeas to plate with sausage. Add wine to pot, bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions.
  5. Using a spider or a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pot with chickpeas and add escarole and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing often, until escarole is wilted, pasta is al dente, 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 luxurious, 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.
  6. Divide pasta among bowls. Crumble rosemary over top and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese. Makes 4 servings.

I regularly switch up ingredients when I make this to use whatever I have handy. That is the genius of this kind of peasant dish. The sausage can be any ground meat (although sausage tends to have more flavor so add seasoning accordingly), or even chopped up salami or bacon bits. Any type of pasta you like can be used.

The greens listed work beautifully, but any greens you have will do nicely, even lettuces. You can easily add mushrooms or other vegetables (carrots are one of my favorites). And the rosemary can be switched out for basil, oregano, or parsley.