Sausage and Escarole Sauce for Polenta or Pasta

If you skip the pasta or polenta, you can easily turn this into an excellent soup by adding chicken or beef broth.

INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4

1 recipe Basic Polenta with Butter and Cheese (see Chapter 8), or 1 pound pasta

1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or hot, cut in bite-sized pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

Olive oil, if needed

¼ cup dry white wine

1 cup Italian plum tomatoes, crushed or chopped (canned are fine)

2 cups escarole, torn into small pieces

1 teaspoon oregano, dried

1 teaspoon thyme, dried

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ cup fresh parsley

½ cup Parmesan or Fontina cheese, grated

  • Prepare the polenta or pasta. In a heavy deep frying pan, fry the sausage over medium heat. If very lean, add some water. Stir in the garlic when the sausage is almost done. If the pan is dry, moisten with a bit of olive oil.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the cheese. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the escarole wilts. Add cheese immediately before serving.

TIP: You can substitute vegetarian sausage for regular sausage in this recipe.

PER SERVING (SAUCE ONLY: Calories: 234 | GI: Zero | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 13g

The Endive's Cousin

Escarole is a relative of endive and has loose, wavy leaves. The outer leaves have a much more bitter taste, so use the milder inner leaves for salads. Be sure to wash carefully since escarole traps grit and dirt between its leaves while growing!

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