Escarole & Beans… Italian Comfort Food

‘Scarole and beans is an Italian staple at my house.  My grandmother made it.  My mother made it.  And now I make it.

Jacqui's Escarole & Beans


In the Italian tradition of never measuring and NOT writing down your recipes, I think that I have concocted a pretty spot-on recipe from my childhood.

I hope you enjoy it!



Jacqui’s Escarole and Beans

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or prosciutto, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion or shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 head escarole, (about 1 pound) trimmed, washed, and coarsely chopped
  • Two 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Grated romano
  • ½ lb sm pasta like ditalini

Cook pasta and set aside.

In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat, add the pancetta, and saute until it starts to crisp. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and pepper flakes; saute for 3 minutes more. Add the escarole, stirring until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Add the beans, tomato paste, broth, and salt; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved pancetta, romano and season with salt and pepper.  Ladle over some pasta with a drizzle of oil.

Serves 6

© 2011  J. H-M and CultureChoc2010


One response to “Escarole & Beans… Italian Comfort Food

  1. Beans and greens is one of my favourite things in the world, especially with escarole.

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