These Baked Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Shells are easy to make too: stuff them, pour over some lycopene-rich Quick Tomato Sauce, sprinkle with cheese and bake. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is a cancer preventing... antioxidant. Perfect to tempt a jaded palate, and perfect for the family too.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9- by 12-inch baking tray.
Fill a medium bowl halfway with cold water and ice. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the kale leaves and garlic cloves and boil for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the kale leaves and garlic cloves and drop them into the prepared ice water.
Bring the same pot of water to boil and add in the pasta. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes less than package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
Meanwhile, drain the kale and squeeze out the excess water. Coarsely chop, then blend the chopped kale with the garlic cloves, ricotta, salt, basil leaves, egg, and parmesan cheese. Fill the pasta shells with a scant 1 tablespoon of the kale ricotta mixture and place in the prepared baking pan.
Top the stuffed shells with the Quick Tomato Sauceand sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and the reserved Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is turning golden brown. Serve hot.
This is a perfect use for any Quick Tomato Sauce stashed in the freezer. Don’t defrost, it will lose nutrients, just heat it up in a small pan before using.
Whole Wheat Jumbo shells can be hard to find consistently. Since these shells are stuffed with fiber rich kale, go ahead and make them with regular jumbo pasta shells if the wholewheat prove too hard to find. Medium size whole wheat shells can be found from DeLallo on Amazon. The shells will get filled if tossed together with the filling, but the dish will end up more like ziti.