This Italian combination of escarole, sausage and beans is from this week’s Guest Foodie Gale Gand‘s new book “Lunch!”

In that she wrote “I spent my college years in Rochester New York going to art school at RIT’s School For American Craftsmen, graduating with a BFA in Metal Smithing. Isn’t that what most chef’s do before they get in the kitchen? Well at least I can install a hot water heater, if need be. One of the main culinary forces in that town is the heavy Italian population from central Italy, so Americanized Italian restaurants were every where. This was a signature dish on most of those Italian restaurant’s menus.”

Escarole and Sausage with White Beans

1 pound bulk or link Italian sausage, sweet or hot (about 4 sausages)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 head escarole leaves washed, dried, and chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 15-ounce cans white beans
3 cups Chicken Stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 plum tomatoes, diced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, push or bust the sausage out of it’s casting with your thumb to make 1-inch chunks. Cook the sausage pieces over medium-high heat until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and chili flakes to the skillet and sauté over medium-high heat just until the garlic softens and becomes translucent, about 1 minute. Add the escarole and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter, the parsley, cheese, and tomatoes, mix to combine, and cook until the mixture is heated through and the butter is melted. Add pepper, and taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side to dip in the juice.

Serves 4 to 6