Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole


Main Dishes Vegetarian

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.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce (you can use your favorite)
  • 1 cup cooked Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans, or another creamy white bean
  • 1 cup stock (I used chicken stock and bean broth, half and half)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ½ pound short, flat pasta (I broke up tagliatelle nests)
  • 1 head escarole, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 3 or 4 as a light main dish

  1. In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft, 8–10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, beans, stock, and rosemary sprig and stir. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook gently for another 10–15 minutes to combine the flavors.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, using plenty of salted water. Drain the pasta.
  3. Remove the rosemary sprig from the sauce, then mix in the drained pasta; add the escarole and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.


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