Baked Ziti with Greens & Mushrooms

This filling and greens-rich dish is faster to make than lasagne with a similar appeal.  You can use kale or spinach, or a combination of the two.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Preheat the oven to 350.

Remove the stems from 1 bunch of kale and then wash the leaves OR soak 1/2 lb. spinach in cold water and drain, twice.  Spin the greens dry.  Chop the leaves.

When the water is boiling, add 2 C. ziti or other chunky pasta.  Cook as per directions until just tender.  Drain and rinse.

In a large skillet, heat 3 T. olive oil and add 1 C. sliced onions.  When the onions are tender, add 1 C. crimini or similar mushrooms, sliced.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

When the mushrooms begin to shrink, add 1 T. minced garlic along with the kale or spinach.  Cook for just a minute or two for spinach, 5 minutes for kale.  (If you are using both greens, add the kale first).

Optional:  add 1 C. shelled peas to the skillet just before turning off the heat.

In a large bowl, mix together 2 C. Ricotta cheese and 1/4 C. parmesan cheese.  Add 1/2 t. salt and pepper.  Use a tongs to lift the mushroom/greens mixture out of the pan without transferring too much of the cooking liquid.  Add to the cheese along with the pasta and stir well to combine everything.

Transfer the contents of the bowl to a 9 x 12 baking dish.  Top with 1 C. grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake until the edges are bubbling and the top is nicely browned, about

 

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