Escarole is a rare and exotic vegetable for me. I'd been scared off with stories about its bitterness and frankly, there were plenty of other things to eat that struck me as more appealing.
My greengrocer had it, I bought and now I had to use it. It looks like a head of butter lettuce and it is, as promised, somewhat bitter. On its own, it's unappealing but wilted by tossing in warm pasta, it's just great.
You can go heavier on the beans if you like. For me, this is a pasta dish with beans and escarole.
Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup tomato sauce (I used Lupe's sauce without the poblanos)
1 cup cooked Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans, or another creamy white bean
1 cup stock (I used chicken and bean broth, half and half)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ pound of short, flat pasta (I broke up tagliatelle nests)
1 head escarole, chopped into bite-sized pieces
salt to taste, pepper
Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water.
Add the tomato sauce, beans, stock, rosemary sprig and stir. Lower the heat a little to medium low and gently cook while the pasta cooks.
Strain the pasta. Remove the rosemary sprig from the sauce and toss the sauce with the pasta, along with the escarole. Serve.
Serves 3 or 4 as a light main dish.