Baked Fusilli Pasta
with Kale and Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
We’ve taken our favorite lasagna recipe and deconstructed it for a simple dinner that’s just as comforting as the classic. Although our chefs used penne in the past, we made a last-minute upgrade to fusilli. The mozzarella, ground beef, kale, and panko fit snugly inside the pasta’s tight spirals for a burst of flavor in every creamy bite.
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Wash and dry all produce. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Halve, peel, and finely chop the onion. Mince or grate the garlic. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces. Remove and discard the kale ribs and stems before coarsely chopping the leaves. Pick then coarsely chop the basil leaves.
Boil the fusilli: Add the fusilli to the boiling water. Cook 9-11 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions. Cook, tossing, for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add the beef, garlic, oregano, and as many chili flakes as you like. Break up the meat into pieces, until browned.
Cook the kale: Add the kale to the pan. Toss 3-4 minutes, until wilted. Add a splash of water, if necessary, to help it wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the fusilli, basil, beef mixture, crushed tomatoes, and half the mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the fusilli mixture to a lightly oiled baking dish (ours is 9”x9”). Sprinkle with the panko breadcrumbs and remaining mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Enjoy!