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Comfort foods bring the whole family together

Veggie, Smoked Sausage and Cheese Bake

Family Features | 10/4/2013, midnight
Veggie, Smoked Sausage and Cheese Bake Family Features

Few dishes have a way of pleasing taste buds and gathering the family together like comfort foods. It’s always best to have a repertoire of these classic, tried-and-true recipes on hand.

Whether you prefer a creamy plate of macaroni and cheese or a steamy bowl of chicken noodle soup, nothing warms the senses and takes you back to simpler times quite like your favorite comfort foods. Add a new dish to your list of favorites with this recipe for Veggie, Smoked Sausage and Cheese Bake. It feeds the need for a comforting meal, plus, it features healthy, delicious kale. Noted for its list of nutritious benefits, kale boasts vitamins A, C and K, as well as several minerals, including potassium, iron and manganese. For more great recipe ideas, visit www.rawl.net.

Show off your heritage

In the spirit of creating family mealtime favorites, Nature’s Greens cooking greens is inviting cooks everywhere to submit their favorite family recipes their Show Us Your Heritage Recipe Contest. As long as it includes Nature’s Greens cooking greens, any type of recipe will be considered - allowing you to break out your family’s most mouthwatering appetizer, main dish or dessert recipes. One lucky grand prize winner will receive airfare for two, spending money and a two-night stay at a resort in South Carolina - the home state of Nature’s Greens - for some Southern hospitality. So, dust off that recipe box and submit your family’s culinary masterpiece soon, as this contest only lasts October 1 through December 1, 2013. Complete rules can be found at www.rawl.net/contest.

Veggie, Smoked Sausage and Cheese Bake

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 to 15 servings

1 cup water

1 (14.5 ounces) can fat-free chicken broth

1 (1-pound) bag Nature’s Greens Kale or Collards

8 ounces rotini pasta

12 ounces Italian-style smoked chicken sausage

1 tablespoon extra light olive oil

4 ounces Versatile Veggies diced yellow onion

2 teaspoons garlic

15 ounces part skim milk Ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

Pour water and chicken broth in large pot and bring to boil over high heat. Add kale or collards into boiling mixture and cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Drain greens after cooking and set aside. Cook pasta until tender according to package directions. Drain pasta after cooking and set aside.

While pasta and greens are cooking, chop sausage into tiny pieces and set aside. Heat large skillet to high and pour olive oil into skillet. Reduce heat to low; spoon onion and garlic into oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onion is transparent. Add sausage pieces and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Pour cooked sausage mixture into large bowl; stir in cooked greens, cooked pasta, Ricotta cheese, sea salt and pepper. Spoon greens and sausage mixture into prepared 13 x 9-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over greens and sausage mixture. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes or until brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.