Rabu, 06 Agustus 2014

Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

A fresh, nutritious and easy-to-make recipe like this veggie dish is absolutely what I need. I love the crunch of blanched kale.

Ingredients :
  •     16 jumbo pasta shells (or use manicotti shells)
  •     9 ounce bunch (about 250 grams) organic kale, center ribs trimmed out
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     1 cup finely chopped onion (about 5 ounces or 150 grams)
  •     2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •     15 ounces (425 grams) part skim Ricotta cheese (I like Polly O if you can get it)
  •     3/4 cup (60 grams) freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for the top (divided use)
  •     1 large egg
  •     ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley (part fresh oregano is nice too)
  •     1 teaspoon dried Italian blend herbs (or use dried basil)
  •     ¾ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  •     ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
  •     1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional but good)
  •     25-30 ounces of homemade tomato sauce or your favorite jarred brand

Directions :

Cook the pasta shells and the kale :

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.
  2. Cook the pasta shells according to package directions.
  3. Remove the cooked shells to a clean kitchen towel.
  4. Bring water back to a boil and add the kale leaves.
  5. Cook (blanch) for three minutes.
  6. Remove the leaves to a bowl of ice water.
  7. When the kale is cold, drain, squeeze dry in paper towels.
  8. A salad spinner can help get rid of excess moisture to start, then squeeze dry in paper towels.
  9. Chop the kale into small pieces and set aside.

Make the filling :

  1. In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil. 
  2. Add onion and cook (saute) until its soft and transparent.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another 60 seconds.
  4. Add the chopped kale.
  5. Place in a medium bowl and mix in ricotta and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, egg and herbs and seasonings until smooth.

Fill shells and bake :

  1. Place about a 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Place about two tablespoons of filling in each shell.
  3. For reference, see the photo in the post.
  4. You want the shells to be full but not bursting. Place filled shells on top of the sauce. Top the shells with the rest of the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle with the last quarter cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes,  or until hot and bubbly.

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Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
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