Creamy Italian Baked Pasta with Kale and Tomatoes

Creamy Italian Baked Pasta with Kale and Tomatoes


Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup (6oz) grape tomatoes, halved

  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 8oz pasta of choice, gluten-free if needed, preferably whole-grain

  • 8oz chopped fresh kale

  • 1 12oz package firm, silken tofu (such as Mori Nu brand)

  • 1 cup pasta water

  • 1/2 lb sliced Land O Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend, torn into quarters

  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as basil and thyme

  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato halves and saute until softened and beginning to blister, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper and salt. Saute for 1 more minute and remove from heat.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, adding the kale during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta well and return to the pot.

  4. Combine the silken tofu and pasta water in a blender and process until smooth. Add the egg and blend again. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan. Gently bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add about 1/4 of the cheese and stir until melted; repeat with remaining cheese. Turn off heat.

  5. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and kale and stir to combine. Fold in tomatoes and fresh herbs. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. (May be prepared ahead of time, covered, and baked just before serving.)

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