The joy of a fridge clean out! Tonight I came home starving and had nothing to make for dinner. I wanted to whip something up quickly and had to figure out how to combine what I had on hand. I decided on some baked pasta with ricotta and lots of green veggies. I mixed everything up, threw it in the oven and crossed my fingers that it’d be edible. It turned out to be a great invention. Filling and comforting, but light and packed with cancer fighting leafy greens. I was counting on leftovers, but Craig ate almost the whole thing!
The key to making this tasty pasta is to cram in as many veggies as you can. I had a bunch of kale and broccoli, but any leafy green would do. Spinach, chard, or rabe – anything would be delicious. I shredded the veggies in a food processor, added onion and garlic and tossed with the pasta. I had a bunch of leftover proscuitto from making bracciole this weekend, so I chopped that up and threw it in as well. I added some fresh basil for flavor, but you could always just stir in a tablespoon of store bought pesto instead.
Have a mentioned this dish is packed with veggies? I have between six and seven cups in here (depending on the size of your broccoli), but you could certainly add more if you were so inclined. Park skim ricotta adds a creamy texture and some filling protein but I think in the future I may add shredded chicken too. Best of all, this whole thing can be put together in less than 30 minutes!
1lb whole wheat pasta (shells, elbows, penne, ect…)
4 cups kale, ribs removed and rinsed
2-3 cups broccoli florets (approx one large head of broccoli)
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup skim milk
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 lb prosciutto, chopped (reserve one slice for the top)
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside
3. Shred kale and broccoli in a food processor (you can also just finely chop)
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded kale and broccoli
5. Dice garlic and onion and add to veggie mixture (or chop in food processor)
6. Puree basil leaves and add to veggie mixture
7. Mix in red pepper, black pepper, 1/4 cup Parmesan and chopped proscuitto
8. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together milk and ricotta
9. Toss veggies, cooked pasta and milk/cheese mixture together, coat all pasta thoroughly
10. Spray casserole dish with olive oil cooking spray
11. Pour pasta mixture into casserole dish and spread evenly
12. Top with slices of proscuitto and remaining Parmesan
13. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until cheese bubbles
14. Serve warm!