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Creamy Italian Baked Pasta with Kale and Tomatoes
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup (6oz) grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8oz pasta of choice, gluten-free if needed, preferably whole-grain
- 8oz chopped fresh kale
- 1 1 cup pasta water
- 1/2 lb sliced Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend, torn into quarters
- 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as basil and thyme
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato halves and saute until softened and beginning to blister, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper and salt. Saute for 1 more minute and remove from heat.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, adding the kale during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta well and return to the pot.
- Combine the egg and pasta water in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan. Gently bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add about 1/4 of the cheese and stir until melted; repeat with remaining cheese. Turn off heat.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and kale and stir to combine. Fold in tomatoes and fresh herbs. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.