My love affair with dark greens continues. I have been putting kale, arugula, chard, and spinach in just about everything. Even my smoothies. I have really started to crave my green smoothie when I don’t have one every day. Right now my favorite blend is kale, pineapple, mint, half an avocado, and coconut water. Sometimes I drink it for breakfast, but mostly an afternoon snack. It really helps me fight that afternoon sweet craving that I get. I added finely chopped kale to the ricotta cheese in these shells and it was delicious. William loved these, and he is highly skeptical of green things in his food.
Now that school is back in session, getting dinner on the table can be a challenge. My little guy comes home from kindergarten exhausted and needing a little extra TLC. I know that he will get used to it, but for right now, it is a tough transition. The big kids have homework, practice 3 nights a week, and tons of other things throughout the week. Needless to say, it can be crazy come dinner time. A trick that I have started doing again is to get dinner started in the morning when I have some time. When I have most of dinner ready in the morning, it is not a big deal to get it finished and on the table.
This meal can be made all the way to the end, and kept in the fridge until you are ready to bake it off. While I was making it, it was the same amount of work to make two, so I put it in a container that goes from freezer to table. Ready to go for another busy night. I served this with a side salad and some whole wheat garlic bread.
2 boxes jumbo pasta shells
Homemade marinara sauce (store bought is just fine)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
3 (15-ounce) containers Sargento Light Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsely
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 packages Sargento Traditional Cut Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Cook the shells according to the package directions. (I take them out 1 minute before.) Drain and set aside. Wash the kale and chop finely.
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and add kale. Cook until wilted. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Set aside.
Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil.
Add cooled kale.
Put the ricotta filling in a piping bag or a plastic bag with the end cut off. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Stuff each shell with filling. Line the shells in the bottom of the dish.
Cover with sauce and top with mozzarella and additional Parmesan. I sprinkle a little oregano on top – because that is what my mom did whenever she made a baked pasta dish.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and continue to bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or when the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.