Wednesday, March 6, 2013

pasta with apple-sage sausage, white beans & greens

i love slow cooked white beans simmered with sage & garlic, then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.  i found some apple-sage sausages at the market the other day and imagined a pasta dish combining white beans with the sausage and fresh greens.  stop imagining! this is really, really good.

it is "comfort pasta" week at food network's comfort food feast.  our last one of the season.  this warm, filling, delicious pasta is quick and easy.  i used organic canned beans because that is what i had on hand.  cooked dried beans would be amazing if you have the time.  flavored sausages like the apple-sage can be found at gourmet or organic markets like whole foods.  if you can't find them, use a mild italian sausage. the roasted garlic adds a wonderful flavor.  click here for the recipe.  i roast some every week and keep in the fridge (i love garlic!)  if you are pressed for time and don't have roasted garlic on hand use 2 cloves of fresh garlic and add during the last 2 minutes when sautéing the sausage and onions.

pasta with apple-sage sausage, white beans & greens
8 oz dried pasta shells
4 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb apple sage sausage or mild italian sausage
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp roasted garlic
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pinch dried red pepper flakes
1 bunch coarsely chopped kale or chard, center ribs removed. (or equivalent amount spinach)
1 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded, plus more for serving.

cook pasta according to package directions.  stop cooking 2 minutes earlier than directed so pasta is very al dente'. (it will finish cooking later) drain and set aside.

cut sausage into 1 inch pieces and remove casing.  sauté in large skillet for 5 minutes. drain. add onion and saute an additional 5 minutes. pour off any drippings but do not scrape pan. add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook uncovered for approximately ten minutes until sausage is cooked through. stir frequently. remove sausage and onion and place on plate.  set aside.

in same skillet, add roasted garlic, cannellini beans, broth and bay leaf.  bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  add cooked pasta and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes of until pasta is just al dente'.  do not overcook.  add sausage, greens and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil.  cook until greens are slightly wilted.  add balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup cheese. cook until cheese melts.  taste and adjust seasonings.  serve immediately with additional shredded cheese for passing and with plenty of crusty french or sourdough bread for soaking up the delicious broth.

it is "comforting pasta" week at food network's "comfort food feast". check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends:
napa farmhouse 1885
red or green?
california girl in taos

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