Last week I got adventurous and tried a few new foods. A friend of mine is always talking about eating kale, so when I found a pasta recipe in Woman’s Day that included it I figured it would be a good way to ease myself into eating the leafy vegetable. Kale has an interesting texture. It reminds me of spinach when you boil it, but it also still has a crunchy lettuce-like texture.
Not only is the kale in this pasta delicious, but the whole-wheat penne and the kale are both high in fiber. I amped up the flavor by adding some smoked sausage, but kept it light by leaving out the milk, parmesan, and ricotta from the original recipe. That is a little too heavy for a meal on a hot summer night! Don’t worry; I didn’t skimp on the mozzarella. You’ll still get all the cheesy goodness you deserve.
Recipe: Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Bake adapted from “Baked Pasta with Kale” in Woman’s Day Magazine
Makes 8 servings, 517 calories each
What You Need:
- 1 package smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 box whole-wheat penne
- 1 bunch kale, leaves chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 15 oz canned and diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
- 6 oz. mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves minced garlic
What To Do:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
2. Cook penne according to the package directions. Add kale in the last few minutes of cooking. Drain.
3. While the pasta is cooking, heat EVOO in a large skillet. Add sausage slices and cook until they begin to brown. Ladle the sausages into a small bowl and set aside.
4. Add onions and garlic to the oil and cook until the onions begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add in the red pepper flakes and diced tomatoes.
5. Add the pasta and kale back into the pot they cooked in. Add in onion mixture and toss to coat. Mix in 4 oz. of the mozzarella.
6. Pour the pasta into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.