Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two-Color Ziti Fake-Bake

I have been trying to incorporate a vegetarian dish to our weekly menu.  I am so glad I did because I have discovered a love for kale.  It is delicious!!!

Salt and pepper
3/4 pound ziti rigate, whole wheat ziti or any other short-cut pasta
3.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 bunch kale, stemmed and very thinly sliced.
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup onion,  chopped
One 28 oz can italian tomatoes in puree
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
8 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella or shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain reserving about 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat about 1.5 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Stir in 2 cloves garlic for 1 minute, then add the kale to wilt to crisp tender, a couple of minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Transfer to a plate and reserve the skillet.

3. Preheat the broiler and position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Place the ricotta cheese in the bottom of the casserole.

4. Place the reserved skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir in the  remaining 2 cloves garlic for 1 minute, then add the onion and stir for 2 minutes. Using a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes. Add them to the garlic and onion and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil to wilt. Lower the heat to simmer.

5. Add the pasta, reserved cooking water and the kale to the ricotta in the casserole; season with salt and pepper. Top with two-thirds of the tomato sauce, a thin layer of parmigiano-reggiano and the mozzarella.   Broil for a few minutes to brown the cheeses. Serve with the remaining sauce and parmigiano-reggiano.

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray

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