I like to pretend this is healthy-ish because it has kale in it, but it’s totally not. It’s so good that it’s worth it though. Make sure to undercook the pasta here! It’s going to get baked for a while after being cooked, so it will get mushy if it’s cooked too much before going in the oven.
Recipe adapted from Early Morning Farm.
This recipe is: vegetarian
*could be made gluten-free by substituting GF flour, brown rice noodles, and Udi’s bread
- 4 tbsp butter, plus more to grease pan
- 3 cups cubed bread (I used baguette)
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt + 1 tbsp for boiling water
- heaping 1/8 tsp mustard powder
- heaping 1/8 heaping cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like spice as much)
- 2 cups extra sharp or sharp white cheddar cheese (8 oz), grated
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (4 oz), grated
- 8 oz whole wheat penne
- 1 bunch kale, washed
- Measure out the milk and set aside while you do the rest of the prep- this will allow it to warm for later use.
- Cut up the kale. I like to use a grater attachment on my food processor to get the kale into fine pieces that will incorporate with the sauce, but you can cut it into bite-size pieces if you prefer.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 3-quart casserole dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tbsp salt. Cook pasta and kale together for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in the milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8-12 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the salt, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, and 3/4 cups parmesan. Stir in the pasta and kale.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top followed by the bread cubes. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.