Begin by cooking the beans as per the package instructions. Throw in an unpeeled garlic clove for more flavor. After the beans are cooked, place in a bowl and remove the garlic clove. Do not discard the water the beans were cooked in! Reserve enough of the water to cover the beans in the bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare the escarole. Cut off the base of the escarole head and then, holding the escarole leaves together, cut the escarole in three. Wash the escarole leaves four to five times to remove all of the dirt. Once cleaned, add the escarole into the boiling pot of water. Let cook for about ten minutes, making sure to occasionally stir.
In the meantime in a separate pot, heat a large drizzle of olive oil over medium to high heat. Add in the garlic and onion and fry for about three minutes. If cooking the red sauce version, add in the tomatoes at this point and cook for another three minutes, making sure to squeeze the tomatoes as you mix. If cooking the white sauce version, just keep cooking the garlic and onions over medium to low heat for another three minutes.
Strain the escarole and add the boiled escarole leaves into the pot with the garlic and onion. Mix together and cook over low heat for about five minutes.
If cooking the white sauce version, add in the beans with the bean water and the chicken broth. If cooking in red sauce, add in only the beans and the chicken broth (no bean water). Mix together and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let cook for about seven more minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with a side of fresh Italian bread to "fare la scarpetta", or to dip into the escarole and bean broth that is leftover. Enjoy! Salute and cin cin!