February 01, 2015

baked kale and chicken pasta

Mmmmmm.... so good!  I had some leftover smoked chicken just waiting to be used and here was my chance.  It was wonderful!!!  Another idea?  Go to your local grocery store and grab a rotisserie chicken.  An even better idea?  Let the kids pick the meat off while you prep everything else!  This pasta is so versatile and you can adjust what you add... so use your imagination! :)

Servings 6
Total Time 45 minutes

  • 12 ounces large pasta shells (if making this gluten free make sure to grab the appropriate pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bunches kale, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken 
  • 1, 15 ounce ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons course salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time add the chopped kale. Drain and return to pot, reserving 1 cup of the water. 

3.  Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion begins to soften, 4 minutes.  Set aside.

4.  Stir the onions, kale, chicken, ricotta, lemon zest, 3/4 cup parmesan, salt, pepper, and the cup of reserved pasta water into the pasta.

5.  Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with 1/4 cup parmesan.

6.  Bake until top is golden, 30 minutes.  Enjoy!!!

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