Pasta with Escarole, White Beans, and Chicken Sausage (CEIMB)

October 8, 2011

Sausage has never been a favorite of mine, but after my recent trip to France, I had a change of heart. The friends we stayed with are big fans of Jamie Oliver, and one of the dinners we had was Proper Blokes’ Sausage Fusilli, from the Cook with Jamie cookbook. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. When I was back from the trip and looking for healthy recipes to cook, I came across Pasta with Escarole, White Beans, and Chicken Sausage in Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave. Perfect. I could try a sausage pasta recipe in a healthier version.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, though I used dried sage instead of fresh. The combination of sausage, white beans, and escarole gave this dish a nice texture and flavor contrast. I’ve probably had escarole in salad blends before, but I had never bought a head of it or cooked with it. It’s crunchy and just a little bitter, and we enjoyed the leftover escarole in salads.

The pasta reheated nicely too. When I was scooping out some leftovers I thought “how did a peanut get in there?” and then realized it was a white bean!

This was really delicious, and definitely something I’ll make again. The only thing I’d change would be to use a little less pasta (maybe 8oz instead of 12 oz). This made a large quantity of food, and there was a lot of pasta in proportion to the other ingredients.

You can find this recipe in The Food You Crave, or here on the Food Network’s website.

The Craving Ellie In My Belly (CEIMB) group is now a “freedom of choice” group, meaning that you can cook whatever Ellie recipe you want. Each Friday, the CEIMB site will have a post where everyone can link to their recipes. I’ve made several of Ellie’s recipes and have liked them, so I hope that this group will inspire me to try more of her recipes and to use my cookbook a little more often!


  1. This looks wonderful, I can’t believe I have never made this recipe. I need to pull out that book and remedy that asap! I even have fresh sage still in my garden…better move on this soon! I’m so happy you are cooking with the CEiMB group…wait, what am I saying, YOU are now part of the group!! I got her new book, quickly looked through it and set it aside to be wrapped for Christmas for me…lots of good stuff in there! Will keep us busy for a long while yet. See you next week…now, what shall I make for next week???

  2. I’ve never been a huge fan of sausage either. I usually eat around it and then let my husband have all of mine 🙂 So many great recipes in Ellie’s books, you can’t go wrong!

  3. What great looking pasta! I have made Jamie’s bloke’s fusilli, and I agree that it is very tasty.

  4. I luuuuv sausage. I am embrace most things pork related-as well as chicken! This looks delicious!!!!!

    Welcome to the sausage-hood!

  5. I made something similar to this in Chicago, but of course without the meat. My step-mother found the recipe on some low-calorie site. It was really good and I love beans and pasta together.

    Yours looks great!

  6. I never think of cooking with escarole. I have a salad that Mel invented using it, with apples and tomatoes and a sweet dressing. It looks yummy, but I agree in general I like recipe with less pasta/filler more “stuff.” Selfishly, I wish you and all my other cooking friends were here to help me out this week: I would have you bake the coconut cake instead of me! Miss ya.

    • OK, now you have to post the recipe for that salad! I’d love to be down there baking a cake…maybe you need to enlist my help next year!

  7. This looks like a great recipe (like you said, with just a little less pasta). I’ll have to check out the CEIMB site. Sounds like there are some great ideas!

  8. I am a sausage fan if it is turkey or chicken. I am wondering why I have not made this. It sounds great.

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