So it's Thursday night and I have leftover pasta in the fridge. Alone, I am projecting that will not get me through my three hour class tonight...pity party for me. I need more to keep me going. So I have a head of escarole waiting to be used in the fridge and when I think escarole, I think white beans. I don't know why that's such a classic combo, but of course my husband hates white beans. I'm pretty sure it is one of his objectives to make me replace at least one ingredient that customarily is found a dish. Pine nuts in pesto...gone! Like walnuts in your brownies? Tough! You want asparagus in your stir fry? Fuggedaboudit. I wonder where Adrienne gets it from?? Anyway, so it's kidney beans instead of white beans. Feel free to use white beans if you make this and you prefer to do so...I personally like the texture of the white bean better for pasta (Jim of course disagrees.) Although the color from the kidney beans made the dish much prettier to look at...so it's all good.
Chicken, Escarole, and Bean Pasta
8 oz. pasta of your choosing, cooked al dente
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces (good chicken sausage would be amazing, but I had chicken breasts on hand.)
1 head of escarole, sliced into thin ribbons
1 15 oz. can of dark red kidney beans...or white beans...or chickpeas
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups of chicken broth
1/3 cup romano cheese plus more for serving
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and saute a minute more. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Stir occasionally until completely cooked though, about 5 minutes. Add the escarole, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently until wilted, about 5 minutes more. Add the red pepper flakes, beans, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook so the beans get hot and your broth reduces a bit. Then turn the heat to low, add the pasta and incorporate it thoroughly. Add the romano cheese and mix well. Remove it from the heat and serve hot with extra cheese. Enjoy!