I was in the mood for a quick pasta dinner and all I had in my pantry was a package of bow ties, likely an impulse buy. For pasta staples I tend to stick with the basics, a linguine or similar strand, a tube such as rigatoni, a lasagna type, and a smaller shape such as acini.
I started the whole project late; it was closing in on dinnertime, so it needed to be straight forward. I envisioned a fast tomato sauce, the pasta, a little kale for roughage, and fill in with mozzarella and Parmesan.
Actually, this evolved into a one-pot meal in a hurry and turned out to be an incredibly nice surprise.
I started by making a marinara sauce of sorts. Once it was underway, I added chopped kale. Then, I decided to throw in the dried bow ties plus a little extra water to extend the sauce. Why not cook it all together? I ventured.
In the time it took to simmer the sauce a few minutes the pasta was al dente and had absorbed much of the excess liquid. I poured it all into a quiche dish, tucked mozzarella pieces into the crevices of the bowties, sprinkled on a little Parmesan, and baked it long enough to melt the cheese, make a salad, and clean up.
The surprise was that the bow ties expanded but retained their mouth-sized shape and held together. Their curly edges and flat surfaces were ooooozing with sauce and cheese. Oh, my. If you are a sauce (and cheese) lover, this is the way get it!
One-Pot Bow Ties & Kale in Marinara Sauce
2-3 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, cut into strips
1 cubanelle or other mild-medium hot pepper, seed and cut into strips
1 clove garlic, mash & mince
½ tsp dried oregano or basil
1 tsp fresh rosemary
16 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
½ tsp salt, pinch crushed red pepper
3-4 leaves kale, cut away center rib, chop bite-sized
1 cup water, approx.
8 oz pasta bow ties
4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1”x ¾”x ½” thick strips
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.
- In a sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion to soften. Stir in the green pepper, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic. Add herbs, cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato products, salt and pepper, and simmer 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cut up kale, 1 cup water, and cook to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the pasta into an oiled wide quiche dish.To finish, tuck mozzarella into the pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350-375°F for 20 minutes, remove foil for the last 10 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.
Serves 3 or more
Note To add ½ lb ground sausage or beef, brown it first; drain and proceed.