I love casseroles. I think they are really the all-American food. As far as I can tell, there is no other culture on the face of the planet that throws a bunch random stuff together, throws it in the oven, and then thirty minutes later proclaims that dinner is done. So easy, and yields a great amount, allowing my little family of two to have leftovers for days. I am not going to complain that last night my dinner prep consisted of plopping a bunch on a plate, throwing it in the microwave, and setting it on the table with some bread and butter. My husband ate this for dinner on Tuesday night, lunch for Wednesday, dinner again on Wednesday, and then lunch today.
But happy wife.
Now, before you go feeling all that bad for him, please remember that kale is his favorite vegetable. The man loves this leafy green goodness. So, yes, he has been stuck on repeat with his meals, but I have not heard a single complaint. I think, however, that it is time to make something different tonight for dinner ;)
Recipe from Everyday Food with Martha Stuart, Nov. 2011 issue
*This recipe yields a TON. Consider yourself warned.
**Instead of a cooked whole chicken, I used a pack of cooked chicken strips from Trader Joe's. I just chopped them up and threw it in the mix.
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3/4 pound large pasta shells
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced medium
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bunches kale (1 1/2 pounds), tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken (from 1/2 rotisserie chicken)
- 1 container (48 ounces) part-skim ricotta
- 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
- 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated (2 1/4 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain; return to pot. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is beginning to soften, 4 minutes. Add kale, cover, and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to pot with pasta.
- Stir in chicken, ricotta, lemon zest, and 1/2 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; top with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until top is golden, 30 minutes.
COST: $19.11 COST PER SERVING (8): $2.39
Plus butter and bread -- about $2.50/serving