Pasta with escarole, sausage, and beans

Total Time
41 min
15 min
26 min
This pasta recipe calls for orecchiette, which is pasta shaped like little ears, the literal translation of "orecchiette." If you can’t find it, you can substitute cut fusilli or tubettini. Here, you cook the endive in the boiling salted water along with the pasta to help eliminate some of endive’s edge (escarole is a bitter green in the endive family). Italians have perfected the art of cooking it in soups, in pasta dishes, and as a side dish. After cooking with it and trying it in this hearty pasta dish, which also features turkey sausage, plum tomatoes, cannellini beans, and Parmesan cheese, you may find yourself using it in lots more ways other than this recipe.


Uncooked orecchiette pasta

¾ pound(s)


1 head(s), medium, escarole variety, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces

Olive oil

1 Tbsp, extra-virgin


4 medium clove(s), sliced

Uncooked turkey sausage(s)

½ pound(s), Italian variety, sweet, casings removed

Plum tomato(es)

4 medium, seeded and chopped

Canned cannellini beans

15½ oz, rinsed and drained

Red pepper flakes

¼ tsp

Fat free chicken broth

1¼ cup(s), and reduced-sodium

Grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook until the pasta is almost tender, about 9 minutes. Stir in the escarole and cook until the pasta is cooked through and the escarole is tender, about 4 minutes longer. Drain the pasta and escarole and set aside in the colander.
  2. Heat the oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with a spoon, until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pasta and escarole and cook until heated through, 2–3 minutes. Serve in bowls with the Parmesan cheese. Yields 1 1⁄3 cups pasta and 1⁄2 tablespoon cheese per serving.