Baked Penne with Kale and Zucchini - A Delicious and Healthy Pasta Dish

4 stars
4.03 (10)
Baked Penne with Kale and Zucchini - A Delicious and Healthy Pasta Dish
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
65mins
Category:
Recipe by Administrator
Published on October 31, 2023

This baked penne recipe combines the goodness of kale and zucchini with flavorful spices and cheeses to create a delicious and healthy pasta dish. The kale adds a nutritional punch, while the zucchini adds a touch of freshness. Baking the penne in the oven gives it a crispy top layer and allows the flavors to meld together. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner or a gathering with friends and family. Serve it as a main dish or as a side alongside a salad or roasted vegetables.

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta (12 ounces)
  • Kale (1 bunch, stems removed and chopped)
  • Zucchini (2 medium, diced)
  • Onion (1 large, finely chopped)
  • Garlic (4 cloves, minced)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano (1 teaspoon)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Ricotta cheese (1 cup)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
  • Mozzarella cheese (1 cup, shredded)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add the chopped kale and diced zucchini to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
  5. Season the vegetables with crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked penne pasta, sautéed vegetables, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the greased baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the pasta mixture.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Serve hot and enjoy!

Interesting Facts

  • Kale is considered a superfood due to its high nutritional value. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Zucchini is a summer squash that is low in calories and high in water content, making it a great addition to any healthy recipe.
  • Baking the penne pasta allows for a crispy top layer while keeping the inside moist and flavorful.
  • This dish can be customized to include other vegetables of your choice, such as bell peppers or mushrooms.