Friday, March 8, 2013

Comfort Food Friday - Baked Lemon & Kale Pasta

Pasta Bake

After a few rare days of sunshine, Oregon went back to our usual forecast... wet & rainy with grey skies as far as the eye can see. Though I am looking forward to warmer weather this is a great chance to enjoy a comfort food favorite in our house - Baked Lemon and Kale Pasta.

This has actually become more of a hit with the adults in the house than our traditional mac 'n cheese due to the ease of this recipe. I like to add kale so that I'm not as guilty about the creamy, rich noodles. Just a little offset, right?

Comfort food is all about tasting great, filling us up and leaving us feeling warmed up and loved, right? Well, this dish fits the bill. I am a pretty big lemon anything fan and baking it into pasta is my idea of perfection. Want to get started?

Easy Pasta

Baked Lemon & Kale Pasta

You Will Need:

  • 1 box angel hair pasta
  • 1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and cut into bite-sized peices
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced, the other cut into wedges for serving
  • 2 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated finely


Butter. Yes, this is why I call it a comfort food.

Gently melt the butter in a large pan. Go ahead and also start a large pot boiling for your pasta. It is helpful to have the sauce finished first, but I am always trying to multitask.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


Add the olive oil to the pan. Warm the pressed garlic for a minute over medium heat. Then turn off the heat.

pasta sauce

Add the lemon zest, juice, sour cream and chicken stock to the pan. Whisk everything together, salt and pepper as desired and set aside.

Lemon pasta sauce

Now, if you are feeling really decadent, a little extra Parmesan cheese may fall into the sauce. But, that is up to you. It is delicious either way.

When your water is boiling, cook your pasta till firm. My box of angel hair calls for 4 minutes, so I boil it for 3 minutes. For the final minute of cooking time I also add in the kale. It is a quick way to blanch it and mix it in with the pasta at the same time.

baked lemon kale pasta

Then add the pasta and kale straight to the sauce. I hope your pot is big enough to hold it all!

Gently toss and then transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then uncover your dish and bake for another 10 minutes.

Now you have a choice... you can add your 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese at this time and let it get all melty and good, or wait and top each bowl with a little light cloud of finely grated Parmesan cheese. The choice is yours.

This dish is even better the next day. I always make a big pan of it, but it is gone before we know it. I hope you and your family will also enjoy this Baked Lemon and Kale Pasta dish.

Have a great weekend!
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