Emeril's Penne with Sausage and Escarole

The celebrity chef gives our food editor, Francine Segan, a great dinner recipe on his radio show Emeril 20-40-60.

Emeril’s Penne with Sausage and Escarole

The celebrity chef gives our food editor, Francine Segan, a great dinner recipe on his radio show Emeril 20-40-60.

-Francine Segan; Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Emeril 20-40-60, HarperStudio Publisher, New York, 2009, courtesy MSLO, Inc.

Emeril Lagasse 

Bam! My 2010 was kicked up a notch when I was a guest on Emeril Lagasse’s radio show last week.

When the producer called me to be on the show, which is taped in the NYC offices of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, I just assumed that I’d be recording my segment and that Emeril, who’s from New Orleans, would add in the questions later. I was thrilled when I walked into the radio station and saw Mr. Bam in person!

He greeted me with a big smile and even remembered that we’d met once several years ago. There’s no snobby star stuff with Emeril. He was warm, welcoming and as friendly as could be. What a great guy…AND he can cook! Too bad he’s already married.

Since we were taping a show for Valentine’s week, I chatted about the history of aphrodisiacs. I made Emeril blush. Twice! Be sure to tune in on Thursday, February 11th to hear him blush.

Makes 6 to 8 Servings (Total time: 32 minutes)


1 pound penne pasta

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 medium onions, cut into small dice (about 2 cups)

1 red bell pepper, cut into medium dice (about 1 cup)

1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pasta water

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

11⁄2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (or bulk sausage)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 bunch escarole or mustard greens, rinsed, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)

1⁄2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Emeril Lagasse and Francine SeganPreparation:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set aside.

2. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a 14-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the pieces up with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and escarole, and cook for 5 minutes longer.

3. Add the cooked pasta and the reserved cooking water, and stir gently to combine. Simmer just until everything is heated through, about 2 minutes. 4. Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cheese and crushed red pepper, and toss to combine. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil, and serve immediately.

Want more recipe from celebrity chefs? Try Guy Fieri’s Smashing Acorn Soup, Dave Lieberman’s Beet Cupcakes, or search through our Recipe File.

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