Chicken Sausage, Greens, and Beans Pasta

About recipe

This pasta dish is lightened up from the original by using chicken sausage, less oil, and less salt and cheese.  It makes for a satisfying dish, and any hearty green, like escarole, spinach, or kale, can be substituted for the chard.


Ingredients (serves 6)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Sprigs fresh rosemary

8 Ounces Italian chicken sausage (sweet or hot) – if fresh sausage, remove from casings, if cooked sausage, cut into small pieces

1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 (15.5 ounce) can no salt added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 Cup sherry vinegar

12 Ounces whole wheat rigatoni (or pasta of your choice)

8 Cups Swiss chard, thick stems removed and torn (about 1 large bunch)

1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 Teaspoon black pepper



  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Fry rosemary, turning until crisp, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. Add chicken sausage to same pot and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  3. Add beans to pot and cook, tossing occasionally and mashing some with the spoon until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer about half of beans to plate with sausage.  Add vinegar to pot, bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes more.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until almost done. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water before draining.
  5. Transfer the drained pasta to the pot with the beans, and add the chard and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing often, until chard is wilted and sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes.  Add another 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, then gradually add the Parmesan cheese, tossing until melted.  Thin with more pasta cooking liquid if necessary.
  6. Season with pepper, and mix in the reserved sausage and beans.
  7. Divide pasta among bowls. Crumble fried rosemary over the top.
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