Escarole, Sausage, and White Bean Stew

May 17, 2012

I cleaned out my freezer last weekend, removing everything that was freezer-burned and figuring out what needed to be used up soon. I had about a pound and a half of mild Italian sausage that I had gotten for a good price a few weeks ago, so I looked for a recipe that would use up a sizeable portion of it. This recipe in my Gourmet cookbook caught my eye – the total time was listed as only 30 minutes and I already had the beans in my pantry. Hooray!

Between the hearty escarole greens, the sausage, and the beans, this stew contains almost all the food groups in one dish. Just add some crusty whole-grain bread and you’ve got yourself an easy weeknight supper.

White bean and escarole stew

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course


  • 1  teaspoon olive oil
  • 1  pound bulk Italian sausage (sweet and/or hot), broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 5  large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1  head escarole, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3  cups canned white beans (such as great northern or navy), drained and rinsed
  • 3  cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2  cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
  • 2  plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling


  1. Heat oil in a deep 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown sausage, stirring, for 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Add escarole and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add beans and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Add stock and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in butter, cheese, tomatoes, and half of parsley and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and stew is heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle stew into bowls and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve with extra-virgin olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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