In times of hardship we all tend to turn to comfort food, so if you’re anything like us, you’ve been cooking and baking up a storm of classic favorites. We’ve also been shopping our pantries and trying to stock the freezer with more meals, just in case, but that means that sometimes our dinners are a little lacking in one important thing: green veggies! Luckily, you don’t have to choose one over the other. Martha Stewart just shared a make-ahead pasta bake that hits all of those comfort-food notes and uses pantry ingredients like pasta and canned tomatoes, while also including an entire bunch of kale — so you get the nutrients you need while satisfying your taste buds.
Stewart’s sausage and kale stuffed shells feeds a crowd. You could also make the full recipe, then freeze the whole tray or just half of it to enjoy down the road.
The cooking process is fairly straightforward. Sausage and kale are cooked, then chopped up and blended with three types of cheese — creamy ricotta, gooey mozzarella and flavorful Parmesan. Don’t have fresh kale? You can use frozen kale or spinach instead. That mixture is then stuffed into cooked jumbo pasta shells. The whole thing gets smothered in a three-ingredient marinara sauce, and is topped with even more cheese and baked in a big lasagna pan until bubbly and brown on top.
Use a handled casserole pan like Stewart does if you’ve got one (and if not, see below!). Trust us, you don’t want to risk dropping a hot tray of lasagna on the floor while trying to take it out of the oven.
If you want to keep this as a make-ahead meal, you should freeze it before baking. Then, when you’re ready to dig in, you just take it out of the freezer and put it right in the oven. An hour later, dinner’s on the table — with an extra dose of green veggies to boot. Let’s see if your store bought frozen burritos or pizzas can beat that!
Need more cozy meal ideas? Then take a look at our gallery of the best Giada De Laurentiis pasta recipes below!
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