|Pasta and Greens, Sausage and Beans|
Pasta and Greens, Sausage and Beans might sound like a carb overload, but after tasting this deceptively simple dish, you won’t care. Beans and greens are a classic pairing in Italian cucina povera (poor food). Adding sausage and pasta elevates the dish some, but not too much. This is comfort food, meant to be easy on your budget and something you can just throw together in a hurry.
Usually this is made with Swiss chard, but I am not a fan. You can use any green you like. Even collards. You will need to adjust the cooking times depending on the greens you use. The magic of this dish is in the different textures. To this end, do not overcook the pasta and use Parmesan shavings and not the shaker cheese stuff.
Time: Active time: 15 minutes; Cook: 40 minutes; Dinner in under an hour
Hardware: a large pot, a colander, measuring cups and
spoons, a cutting board and knife, a large skillet with a lid, a plate, tongs,
a can opener, a large ladle
- 12 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 4 sweet Italian sausage links
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1-15-ounce can cannelloni (white kidney) beans
- 8 ounces of baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons of shaved Parmesan
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Wash the spinach.
- Place links in the skillet and add enough water to cover them.
- Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 -12 minutes.
- Pour off about half the water and return the skillet to the stove. Cook on medium high, uncovered, until the water evaporates. Continue to cook, turning often until the sausage is browned. Turn off the heat and remove the sausage to the plate. Allow the sausage to rest while you put on the pasta water.
- Put the pasta onto boil and cook following the package directions. DO NOT overcook. Throw the spinach in during the last 2 minutes of boiling.
- While the pasta is boiling, slice the sausage into bite sized pieces. Return the sausage, all the juices, the rosemary and the entire contents of can of beans to the skillet over medium low heat. Add 2 ladles of pasta water and the pepper flakes. Bring to a very low simmer. You are just allowing the flavors to meld; you are not cooking anything. Don’t allow this to cook for more than 2 minutes.
- Add the drained pasta, spinach and Parmesan cheese to the sausage and. Gently toss everything. Taste and adjust the salt.
- Serve right away with crusty bread.