Baked ziti was a revelation when I came to the US. We never ate pasta like this at home. How could I have missed out on something so simple and delicious for so long? Well, you don’t have to. Here’s a healthier version that doesn’t spare on taste. The whole family will love it. Get cooking!
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the kale leaves, cook for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water, squeeze out the water and roughly chop. Place into a large bowl.
3. Bring the water back up to a boil and cook the pasta 3 minutes less than package instructions. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and transfer to the large bowl with kale.
4. Meanwhile, in a skillet heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the chicken sausage and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until well browned. Place on a cutting board, and cut into ½-inch dice. Add to the pasta mixture.
5. Toss the pasta, kale, and sausage with fresh mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and Quick Tomato Sauce. Taste for salt, then pour into a 9- by 12-inch baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes covered with foil, then another 5 to 10 uncovered or until well browned. Serve.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If you’re vegetarian, just leave out the sausage!
If you’re gluten free, sub the rigatoni out for some gluten-free penne.