Baked Rigatoni Stuffed with Cream Cheese, Onion & Kale

Baked Rigatoni Stuffed with Cream Cheese, Onion & Kale

I really do love pasta but I don't make it often. My hubby is one of those "don't like high carb meals" type of guy and I can't tell you how many times I've fallen into the pasta coma after eating some. Ok, I will admit that since I do not eat pasta often, when I do, I gorge on it and then suddenly that pasta coma isn't really that big of a surprise, but more of a "what did I expect" moment. Know of any good Pastaholics Anonymous groups?


On another note, if you happened to be around in the early part of summer on the ole blog, you might recall I had a large harvest of kale. Being as brilliant as I am, ahem, I froze a lot of that kale back then. And this my friends is where I came up with what to stuff my rigatoni with. (Oh, that sentence just sounded really funny, didn't it?) Alongside a 1/2 tub of cream cheese asking to be used before expiry and one of my pantry staples, the onion, I did a great job coming up with a tasty filling, if I do say so myself.

While my kids would not touch "the noodles with green stuff in it", the hubby and I enjoyed our "normal serving size" portions which in turn did not induce a pasta nap. Also, if you are a mom/dad who sometimes has to make 2 meals at dinner time: the adult dinner and the kid dinner (see "noodles with green stuff" comment above) then you are in luck here. Just save some of that tasty bechamel sauce and cover plain, unstuffed rigatoni and place in the oven to bake alongside the grown up version.

It's a win-win.


Baked Rigatoni Stuffed with Cream Cheese, Onion & Kale
serves 4

1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen kale, thawed, strained and chopped
250g cream cheese
1-2 tbsp milk
pinch each of salt and pepper
250g rigatoni, cooked as per box instructions

bechamel sauce:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
pinch of ground nutmeg

Pan fry the diced onions over medium heat until soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Mix the cream cheese until smooth in a medium sized bowl. Add the onion, kale, salt and pepper and stir together. Add 1-2 tbsp milk, depending on how thick the mixture is.

Fill a piping back with the mixture with a wide tip. Start filling the cooked rigatoni and arranging into a baking dish.

For the bechamel sauce: melt butter in a frying pan, add flour, mix and cook under medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, salt and nutmeg. Stir occasionally and cook until it thickens up, about 10-12 minutes.

Pour bechamel sauce over the arranged rigatoni dish. Cook in the oven at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until the top is slightly golden.