For a lighter version, omit flour and substitute 1 1/4 cups chicken broth for milk. You can also substitute spinach or kale. Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes, Bake: 15 minutes.
1 (16-ounce) package rigatoni or penne pasta
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound collard greens, washed, drained, and chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; sauté onion 5 minutes or until just brown. Add garlic, and cook about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add greens; cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle greens with flour. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring well. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in cooked pasta, mozzarella, and next 5 ingredients. Place into prepared dish, and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.
I can't quite determine what keeps this from another star. It's easy to make and it's really good, but something is keeping it from being really great. I added more red pepper flakes and cheese, as per other suggestions.
The sugar? Maybe next time I won't add it. I like the slight bite one gets from the collards, and don't need to sugar that out.
I'll be making this again, though. It's good enough to keep the recipe on hand!
This was a very easy, do ahead meal. I will serve it again!! As others have noted - it makes a lot. I would consider cutting it in half for a family of 4 served as a main dish. It is also a bit dry - I added more cheese and broth than it called for - next time I will at least double the cheese and wet ingredients. I substituted swiss for the mozzarella and added about a pound of browned bulk sausage and the flavors were great together. I also increased the garlic and red pepper as others suggested to give it more flavor. I also found that the rigatoni broke a part a bit when I stirred in the ingredients. Next time I will use a firmer pasta such as gemilli or smaller ziti. I also will try it with spinach. I know kale is the "perfect" vegetable, but I prefer the flavor of other leafy greens. It was great as left overs!
I (emphasis on I) liked this a lot. My only concern is that it doesn't have enough liquid but I didn't see any other reviewer with that problem. I did use 1 cup Mozerella and 1 cup Gruyere to enhance the flavor and used kale because it's local (in my garden). After sprinkling on the Parmesan I sprinkled on a small amount of nutmeg which I liked. Some reviewer said they had decreased the pasta by half but kept the sauce the same and I think that may be a good idea based on the "dryness" of my dish tonight. Regardless, the flavor was great! My husband's only comment was "I hope that green stuff is about gone!" But he made no complaint about it being meatless - he's a good sport! :)
I substituted kale for collard greens, and added some Italian sausage (sauteed with the onions) which was very tasty with the ricotta. My boyfriend and I enjoyed the hot baked comfort food on a snowy night. This is a good recipe and I'll be making it again!
I made this last week and it was a HUGE hit. I did use this recipe more as a guideline than a plan, and the changes I made definitely affected the nutritional content. The cheese blend: I used 3/4 cup of shredded Gruyere and 1/2 cup mozzarella in place of the 1 cup of mozzarella called for. I also baked up three chicken thighs then skinned, boned and chopped the chicken as well as fried 5 slices of bacon crisp and crumbled them. I added the meats at the end when I added the pasta to the cheese mixture. I also sprinkled a little mozzarella on the top with the parmesan. It was excellent and I do think it benefitted from a stronger cheese like the Gruyere so I'm glad I listened to other reviewers. I think this could be a very versatile base you could do lots with.