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First Pasta of the New Year

Our first pasta of the New Year is Baked Pasta with Goat Cheese and Baby Kale. After the challenges of the third year post-pandemic we’re looking for a more downsized, streamlined approach to everyday eating as we try to get back to the new normal. Simplified recipes using basic ingredients, easily prepared with optimal nutrient content and visual appeal, extending to healthier versions of comfort foods. Pasta of course comes to mind.

And yes pasta is perfectly OK to have if you’re starting the New Year with a healthy, weight loss resolution. High quality carbs in moderation in small portions are part of a well-balanced way of eating. Adding vegetables as a side or an ingredient uploads your meal with fiber. So whether you’re trying to lose weight, feel healthier, or just reinvent your pasta bowl with better-for-you ingredients, this easy hearty pasta casserole from the new Weight Watchers is perfect whenever you’ve had a really long day or the temperatures start to drop.

The main ingredient in our recipe is Kamut Monograno Felicetti Fusilli Pasta, made from a single organic grain with the rich nutty flavor of brown butter. Kamut also known as Khorasan wheat is an ancient grain higher in protein than modern wheat yet produces a tender pasta while still being 100% whole grain. The gluten in Kamut is a different kind of gluten than that found in modern varieties of wheat, so some people who are mildly sensitive to common wheat (not those with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerances) can tolerate it better than traditional pasta. It also has been shown to help reduce cholesterol and stabilize sugar and insulin levels.

Although this recipe is designed for one, you can also quadruple the ingredients to feed a family or large group. It features a savory combination of baby kale, kamut pasta, panko, goat and Parmigiano cheese and grated lemon zest. You’ll love how easily it comes together, and that it takes just 30 minutes to make. You can use spinach instead of kale or cheddar instead of the goat cheese.

9½ Tbsp low fat milk

½ tsp flour

½ tsp finely minced garlic

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

pinch of red pepper flakes

2 cups uncooked kale, baby variety

2 Tbsp reduced fat goat cheese

1 pinch coarse sea salt

1 Tbsp, panko bread crumbs, plain variety

1 tsp grated Parmigiano cheese

⅛ tsp raw lemon peel, grated

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small skillet, saute garlic and kale in olive oil until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk together milk and flour in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 minute. Stir in cayenne; stir in kale. Stir in pasta, goat cheese; toss until coated. Transfer to a 1 ½ c baking dish. Combine panko, Parmigiano cheese and lemon zest and sprinkle over pasta. Bake until crumbs are toasted, 10 minutes.

Makes 1 serving. 530 calories.

Total Time: 30 min

PrepTime: 15 min

Cook Time: 15 min

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