Baked Tilapia & Creamy Kale with Fregola Sarda Pasta

Baked Tilapia & Creamy Kale

with Fregola Sarda Pasta

40 MIN
4 Servings
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  • with Tilapia

    From the Test Kitchen

    In this bake, creamy kale and fregola sarda create a hearty bed for spiced tilapia fillets. For a golden brown crust, we’re adding a layer of panko breadcrumbs in the last few minutes of baking.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      630 Cals (est.)
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    fresh
    ingredients
    Baked Tilapia & Creamy Kale with Fregola Sarda Pasta
    Title
    • 4 Tilapia Fillets
    • 1¼ cups Fregola Sarda Pasta
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 1 Lemon
    • ¾ lb Kale
    • ¼ cup Grated Romano Cheese
    • ½ cup Cream
    • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
    • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • 1 Tbsp Weeknight Hero Spice Blend (Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika & Whole Dried Parsley)
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Cook the pasta
    1 Cook the pasta

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Place the pasta in a strainer. Thoroughly rinse under water to remove any excess starch. Once boiling, add the rinsed pasta to the pot. Cook 7 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly.

    Prepare the ingredients
    2 Prepare the ingredients

    Meanwhile, wash and dry the fresh produce. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. Peel 2 cloves of garlic; using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate into a paste. Using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate the lemon to get 2 teaspoons. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a large bowl, combine the garlic paste and lemon zest.

    Cook the kale
    3 Cook the kale

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

    Dress the pasta & kale
    4 Dress the pasta & kale

    To the bowl of prepared garlic and lemon zest, add the mascarpone, cream (shaking the bottle before opening), romano, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Add the cooked pasta and cooked kale; season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Transfer to a baking dish (making sure the kale is evenly distributed).

    Prepare the tilapia
    5 Prepare the tilapia

    Pat the tilapia dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the spice blend. Place the seasoned tilapia on top of the dressed pasta and kale. Cover the baking dish with foil.

    Bake & serve your dish
    6 Bake & serve your dish

    Bake the prepared fish and pasta 7 minutes. Leaving the oven on, remove from the oven. Carefully remove the foil. Evenly top with the breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and the fish is cooked through.* Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving. Serve the baked fish and pasta topped with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy! 

    *The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for fish.

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Cook the pasta
    1 Cook the pasta

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Place the pasta in a strainer. Thoroughly rinse under water to remove any excess starch. Once boiling, add the rinsed pasta to the pot. Cook 7 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly.

    2 Prepare the ingredients

    Meanwhile, wash and dry the fresh produce. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. Peel 2 cloves of garlic; using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate into a paste. Using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate the lemon to get 2 teaspoons. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a large bowl, combine the garlic paste and lemon zest.

    Prepare the ingredients
    Cook the kale
    3 Cook the kale

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

    4 Dress the pasta & kale

    To the bowl of prepared garlic and lemon zest, add the mascarpone, cream (shaking the bottle before opening), romano, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Add the cooked pasta and cooked kale; season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Transfer to a baking dish (making sure the kale is evenly distributed).

    Dress the pasta & kale
    Prepare the tilapia
    5 Prepare the tilapia

    Pat the tilapia dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the spice blend. Place the seasoned tilapia on top of the dressed pasta and kale. Cover the baking dish with foil.

    6 Bake & serve your dish

    Bake the prepared fish and pasta 7 minutes. Leaving the oven on, remove from the oven. Carefully remove the foil. Evenly top with the breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and the fish is cooked through.* Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving. Serve the baked fish and pasta topped with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy! 

    *The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for fish.

    Bake & serve your dish
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