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Rochester Greens & Beans

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Escarole, cannellini beans and spicy Italian sausage in garlicky broth

My great aunts Lucy and Angie who came from Italy pronounced escarole as "scaroll." We ate greens & beans as much as we did any macaroni. Nothing fancy about it. Simple ingredients, exploding with flavor. If I were someone who'd use the word "robust," I'd describe this dish's flavor as "robust."

A unique garlicky-escarole-brothy consistency drives this bus. So, of course, let's call attention to that. MORE garlic, ++Escarole, and the broth takes care of itself. The beans create almost a creamy texture, and the Italian sausage adds flavor and-- well, you'll see. You'll taste? Not important.

If I were someone who'd use the word "robust," I'd call this dish "robust."

You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the sausage and trading the chicken stock for vegetable stock. It's still really, really good. And if you want the sausage flavor without the sausage add some fennel and crushed red pepper. The sausage also adds a large amount of salt, so keep that in mind.

As with most recipes, you can throw reckless amounts of butter and parmesan at this for a super-rich yummy-flavored heart attack, but this isn't alfredo, folks. It's greens & beans and it shares its texture with no meal. Keep it light. Keep it brothy.

As my metabolism's slowed a teency bit, I usually make this with Italian-style chicken or turkey sausage. The nutritional difference is staggering. With all the scaroll, this is one of those rare comfort foods that's sneaky-nutritious.

Lots of different ways exist to have fun with this one. Please lmk if you have questions or suggestions! I'd love to see how yours comes out.

Rochester Greens & Beans


  • 1 large onion (any color)

  • 4 large cloves of garlic

  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage

  • 64 oz chicken stock (8 cups)

  • (4) Four 15.5oz cans of cannellini beans, drained.

  • 2 lbs escarole

  • Olive oil


  1. Dice onion and saute in 2 tbsp of olive oil until the onion softens.

  2. Chop and add garlic.

  3. Add spicy Italian sausage. You can use mild or a combination of the two, depending on your heat preference. I like to burn the edges of the sausage for the crispy texture.

  4. In a separate pot, bring the stock to a boil.

  5. Add the beans to the stock.

  6. Rinse the escarole then chop it up into rough pieces. Add it to the stock.

  7. Add the sausage/ onion/ garlic mix to the to the stock. Stir.

  8. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer for thirty minutes.

  9. Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.

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