Cheese and pasta. It doesn't get much better than that. Unless you add kale - and then cheese and pasta become extra delicious, and somewhat healthy (right?).
I made these stuffed beauties for a catering client last week. He loves one-pot, easy-to-reheat meals that make a lot of servings, so I thought these stuffed shells would do the trick. And they did.
The kale and cheese filling is super flavorful, and after being topped off with some homemade tomato sauce - all bets (and diets) are off.
Yields: 20-22 stuffed shells
-1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
-1/2 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (20-22 shells)
-2 cups diced onion
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 cups baby kale, roughly chopped
-Salt and black pepper
-15 ounces ricotta cheese
-2 large eggs
-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
-1 teaspoon dried basil
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Directions:1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking dish with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
2.) Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain again.
3.) In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until very soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
4.) In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Add the kale mixture, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir to combine thoroughly. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the kale-ricotta filling into each cooked pasta shell. Place the filled shells in the prepared dish.
5.) Pour tomato sauce over the filled shells and top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
I made a few extra than this recipe calls for - hey, I had to taste the final product! - and, I must say, these are some tasty pasta shells. I loved how the kale and onions helped balance the richness of the cheeses, while the tomato sauce is just light enough to prevent this from being an overly heavy dish.
What's your favorite one-pot dish?