Spring Pasta with Escarole

Spring Pasta with Escarole

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From: Diabetic Living Magazine, Spring 2019

This easy pasta recipe stars spring vegetables—classic asparagus as well as escarole, a member of the chicory family with a slightly bitter flavor. Escarole cooks quickly and is ideal for wilting into soups and pasta dishes. It can also be eaten raw in salads. It looks like green-leaf lettuce but its leaves are sturdier and a bit curly; you can find it the produce section of large supermarkets.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces fettuccine or tagliatelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges and more zest for serving
  • 1 small head escarole, torn (about ¾ lb.)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus and cook until bright green, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a colander; refresh under cold running water.
  2. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta in a colander.
  3. When the pot is cool enough to handle, dry with paper towels. Add oil and butter; heat over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, the pasta, beans, lemon zest, and ¾ cup of the reserved pasta water. Cook, tossing and adding more pasta water as needed, until a glossy sauce forms and coats the pasta, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add escarole, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper; toss to combine. Garnish each serving with lemon wedges and additional lemon zest, if desired.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 330 calories; 13 g fat(4 g sat); 11 g fiber; 45 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 155 mcg folate; 16 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,588 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 113 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 627 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (52% daily value), Folate (39% dv), Vitamin C (20% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3

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