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Italian Sausage & Escarole Stew

Italian Sausage & Escarole Stew

2   medium red onions
1   large red bell pepper
1 1/4   lbs (575 g) hot Italian sausage links (5 links), casings removed
4   garlic cloves, pressed
6   cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
1   can (28 oz or 796 mL) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1   cup (250 mL) uncooked ditalini pasta
2   sprigs fresh rosemary
1   small head (12 oz/350 g) escarole (about 12 cups/2.8 L sliced)
2   tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
1   tsp (5 mL) salt
2   oz (60 g) Parmesan cheese, shaved
  1. Dice onions and bell pepper using Chef's Knife. Cut sausage in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-in. (1-cm) pieces. Place sausage into (8-qt./7.6-L) Stockpot. Cook over medium heat 6-7 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove sausage from Stockpot; drain on paper towels.
  2. Add onions and bell pepper to Stockpot. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until browned. Add garlic pressed with Garlic Press; cook an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in sausage, stock, tomatoes, pasta and rosemary. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Remove from heat and remove rosemary sprigs.
  3. Meanwhile, cut escarole head in half lengthwise. Cut off and discard root end. Slice escarole crosswise. Rinse and spin dry using Salad & Berry Spinner. Stir escarole, vinegar and salt into Stockpot; let stand 2-3 minutes or until escarole is wilted. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 8 servings (12 cups/2.8 L)

Nutrients per serving: (1 1/2 cups/375 mL): Calories 390, Total Fat 24 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 60 mg, Carbohydrate 24 g, Protein 21 g, Sodium 1540 mg, Fiber 5 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 1/2 high-fat meat (1 carb)

Cook's Tips: Escarole, commonly used in Italian cooking, is a leafy green related to chicory. Use the green, leafy part of the escarole head for this stew. If desired, 1 bag (6 oz/175 g) fresh baby spinach leaves can be substituted for the escarole.

This stew can be made up to two days in advance. Prepare as recipe directs, omitting escarole; cool, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat the stew over medium heat until hot. Proceed as recipe directs in Step 3.

The Vegetable Peeler does a great job of shaving hard cheeses such as Parmesan.