“This is Mad Good”

That’s what Capt. said about the dinner we made on Saturday night.

I was blog surfing at work the other day, and found Stinkerpants Blog.  Stinkerpants is written by Sara, a graphic designer, who primarily does wedding suites.  Her graphic design work is absolutely adorable and half the pleasure of looking at her blog is seeeing what she comes up with to suit the personality of each couple that she designs for.  She also writes about her life, her two chickens, and her membership to the CSA.  Which brings me to Saturday night’s meal.  I took the recipe straight from Stinkerpants Blog and Sara took the recipe from here.

The outcome?  Well, Capt. and I remarked about how good it was back and forth about 5 or 6 times.  It was mad good!

The recipe advises that you use collard greens, which Capt. isn’t a huge fan of, so instead we used spinach.  I think we could have gotten a touch creative and mixed up a number of greens to add some additional flavor to the meal.  Capt. said that the interesting thing is that you could taste every single ingredient in the dish – the garlic, the onion, the mozzerella, the spinach, the parmesan.  There is no star in the dish, every has the spotlight without over powering the other.  It’s like an ensemble cast where everyone is the lead and everyone gives an Oscar winning performance.  Yum, yum, yum!

I could lay in bed on a rainy day with a stupidly funny movie and be the happiest girl alive.  Plain and simple.

So, here ya go!

Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta and Collard Greens

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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.

Yield

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

1. Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sara Foster & Scott Howell, Cottage Living, JANUARY 2006
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ENJOY!
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