Recipe for meatball, kale and mascarpone pasta bake

Kale is said to be one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet.

Picture courtesy: Waitrose & Partners
Picture courtesy: Waitrose & Partners

It is loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C, so if you want to get more in your diet Waitrose & Partners shares this recipe for a meatball, kale and mascarpone pasta bake.

Preparation time:10 minutes

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Cooking time:40 minutes

Total time:50 minutes

Serves: 4


2 tbsp olive oil

300g pack reduced fat British beef meatballs

250g frozen Cooks’ Ingredients Soffritto Mix

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped, to give 1 tbsp

100ml red wine (see drink recommendation below)

2 x 400g cans chopped Italian tomatoes with olive oil and garlic

1 tsp honey or sugar, to taste

250g Napolina Bronze Die Penne Rigate

150g pack Pentland Brig kale, torn from the stems and roughly chopped

125g mascarpone

30g parmigiano reggiano, finely grated, plus extra to serve


1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wide pan. Add the meatballs and sizzle for 5 minutes until browned, then transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan, followed by the soffritto mix and half the rosemary, plus a little seasoning; soften for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6.

2. Pour in the wine, let it bubble and reduce a little, then tip in the tomatoes and honey. Simmer for 10 minutes, drop in the meatballs and take off the heat. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and boil for 12 minutes, piling the kale on top for the final 2 minutes.

3. Drain the pasta and kale, reserving 3 tbsp cooking water, then tip into a medium baking dish. Pour over the meatballs and sauce; toss gently together with the reserved cooking water. Dot the mascarpone across the top, scatter with the parmigiano reggiano and remaining rosemary, then bake for 10 minutes until golden. Serve with extra cheese, if liked.

Cook’s tip

To make this vegetarian, replace the meatballs with 200g ready-cooked chestnuts (chop and add with the soffritto), stir 250g puy lentils into the tomato sauce and use a vegetarian hard cheese instead of parmesan.

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