My family doesn't like spicy food, but I think the heat here is important to the overall flavor. I found a sprinkling of cayenne did the trick; kids would still eat it and the heat was still there albeit slightly muted. With a loaf of bread and a side of apple slices, this was an easy dinner.
With some minor modifications (dairy-free sausage, no butter or cheese), I think this dish would still be quiet good, definitely lower in calories, and a top-8 allergy-free dish.
Escarole, Sausage, and White Bean Stew
1 t olive oil
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (sweet and/or hot) broken into 1-inch pieces I used Trader Joe's chicken sausage with fontina cheese and garlic
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste I sprinkled a bit (less than 1/8 t) of cayenne pepper instead
1 head escarole, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces couldn't find this anywhere! I used 1 C thawed frozen spinach instead
3 c cooked or canned white beans, such as great northern or navy, drained and rinsed if canned I used 2 15 oz cans of great northerns
3 c chicken stock
1/2 stick (4 T) unsalted butter
1/2 c finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or a combination of Parmigiano and pecorino Romans
2 plum tomatoes, diced I drained a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 T choped fresh flat leaf parsley not a bit fan, so I left this out
Kosher salt and pepper
Heat oil in a deep 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown sausage, stirring, for 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Add beans and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add stock and beese, tomatoes, and hal Stir in butter, cheese, tomatoes, and half of parsley and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and stew is heated through.