Adapted from Pink Parsley
8 ounces jumbo shells
1 pound kale, washed, stems removed, and roughly chopped
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3/4 cup (3 oz) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons basil, minced
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
16 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch dish with non-stick spray
2. Par-boil the shells according to the package directions, boiling about 9 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and a splash of water, stirring the kale until it’s wilted and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the kale to a large bowl. Add the cottage cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
4. Return the pan to the stove, add the oil, and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and stirring constantly, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. To assemble the shells, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Use a spoon to fill each shell with the kale-cottage cheese mixture, then arrange in a single layer in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
6. Bake, covered with foil, 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes or so. Let stand about 5-10 minutes before serving. Makes 28 shells (7 servings – 4 shells each).
Taste Test: Delicious! The addition of kale added a wonderful flavor and packed more nutrients and fiber into this dish! Did you know kale is a super veggie, rich in vitamins A, C, B and mineral calcium? It also has the highest protein content of cultivated vegetables! You can always use Spinach if you don’t have any kale.