SPAGHETTI WITH SPICY BREADCRUMBS

This pasta dish might make your skirt fly up over your head. Using homemade toasted breadcrumbs in pasta dishes is genius. It’s as carbful as when people put potatoes in pasta but not nasty, like when people put potatoes in pasta. This dish has three main flavor components–breadcrumbs, caramelized onions, and garlic & anchovy oil.

Even though it’s packed with flavors on both ends of the breath spectrum, it is surprisingly light. I think that’s due to the fact that it is a sauceless pasta and is simply held together with a little bit of hot cooking liquid. I’m telling you, skirt over head.

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SPICY KALE & CHEDDAR BAKED PASTA

There is so much that can be done in a baked pasta style dish. Not only does the pasta style have a wide range of ingredient possibilities, there is also a huge variety of calorie counts (can anyone say, baked ziti?). I made a healthful version for a Sunday treat this weekend and was beyond pleased. In fact, I made an extra portion to share with my neighbor and let's just say, it never made it there.

I introduce to you… Spicy Kale and Cheddar Baked Orichette!

YUM

Ingredients

what you need!

{1}  2 cups slightly undercooked orichette pasta–I used quinoa pasta! (can substitute any smaller shape! i.e. penne, elbow macaroni, rotini)

{2}  1 cup sharp cheddar cheese 

{3}  1/4 cup almond milk (MUST be unsweetened and not vanilla flavored–blech!)

{4}  1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat breadcrumbs–can be homemade or store bought)

{5}  3/4 cup cooked kale, shallot, and crushed red pepper mixture pulsed in food processor (you can chop, if you don't have a food processor)

{6}  1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

First, create your kale, shallot, and crushed red pepper mixture by sautéing 1 slice shallot in 1 tbsp of olive oil along with 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes for 2 minutes or until shallots are soft. Add 1 1/2 cups of fresh kale (loosely packed) and continue to cook down for 3 – 4 minutes. Pulse the sautéed ingredients in the food processor until coarsely chopped and mixed. 

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the slightly undercooked pasta (remove from boiling water 2 minutes before the indicated cooking time on package), kale mixture, half of cheese, half of breadcrumbs, spices, and almond milk. Stir well!

MIX WELL!

Split mixture into two 10 oz ramekins (Shopping tip: ramekins are sold at most grocery stores in the baking equipment aisle for only a few bucks a piece. It's worth it, I promise!). Top with remaining cheese, breadcrumbs, and a drizzle of olive oil.

ALL TOPPED!

Bake with foil loosely covered ramekins for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes! Basically, until it's all bubbly and wonderful looking like this:

EAT! 

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