Penne with Sausage and Escarole
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, cut into small dice (about 2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into medium dice (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (or bulk sausage)
- 2 teaspoons minced green garlic (about 1 stalk)
- 1 bunch escarole, rinsed, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a l4-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the pieces up with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and escarole, and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Add the cooked pasta and the reserved cooking water, and stir gently to combine. Simmer just until everything is heated through, about 2 minutes.Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cheese and crushed red pepper, and toss to combine. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil, and serve immediately.