Rosemary became popular in the kitchen and is now a favorite for seasoning soups, stews, roasted meats and sauces. It adds a delicious herbal note to this pasta, balancing the spiciness of the sausage and the bitterness of the escarole.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausages
- Salt, to taste
- 1 pound dried penne pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 bunches escarole, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to taste
- 1 Position a rack 4 to 6 inches under a broiler and preheat.
- 2 Broil the sausages, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp, and the juices run clear when the sausages are pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. When the sausages are cool enough to handle, cut them diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices and set aside.
- 3 Bring a large pot two-thirds full of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and return to a boil, stirring as needed. Cook according to the package instructions until the pasta is al dente (tender but firm to the bite). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and return the pasta to the pot.
- 4 Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Add the garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes and sauté, stirring constantly, until the garlic is tender and translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
- 5 Add the escarole and sauté, stirring often, until the leaves are tender and wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- 6 Add the sausages and the reserved cooking water and cook, stirring, until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- 7 Adjust the seasonings with salt, add the sauce to the pasta and toss to mix.
- 8 Divide the pasta among 4 warmed pasta bowls and serve immediately. Pass the cheese alongside.