- 12 ounces ziti (or any pasta shape)
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage (I strongly recommend using “spicy” Italian sausage)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 handfuls kale leaves (roughly-chopped, stems removed)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2% low fat)
- shredded parmesan cheese
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a large stockpot full of generously-salted water for the pasta.
- In a (separate) large skillet, saute the Italian sausage over medium-high heat until browned (about 8-10 minutes), breaking the sausage up with a spoon into bite-sized pieces while cooking. When the sausage has browned, add in the minced garlic and saute for 1-2 additional minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- While the sausage is browning, cook the pasta al dente in the stockpot of boiling water according to package instructions. Drain.
- Return pasta to the stockpot and add the sausage, garlic and kale. Gently toss to combine until the kale is dark green and slightly wilted.
- Pour half of the pasta into a greased 11×7-inch or 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of cheese. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and just barely starts to turn golden. Remove and serve immediately, sprinkled with additional toppings if desired.
Yields: 7 serving