Almost Cheeseless Pasta Casserole

Almost Cheeseless Pasta Casserole Recipe


More often than not pasta casseroles are deliciously cheesy affairs. The formula goes something like this - pasta, a bit of sauce, a pound of cheese. The cheese is the decadent glue that works to hold the rest of the casserole together. It's what helps to keep things moist. It's what calls me back for that second piece. There are few things I love more than a golden fork-full of oven-browned mozzarella straight off a hot slice of lasagna. But there is only so much I can take, and truth be told, I rarely cook or eat this way any more. It's too heavy, too much. I end up needing a nap...immediately. So, while I still bake the occasional pasta casserole, I'll typically enjoy it as a side dish, and I try to lighten things up as far as the ingredients go. In this case, to keep things moist and creamy I tossed a rustic farro pasta in yogurt that had been beaten with a bit of egg. In went plenty of garlic, toasted almonds, chard, butternut squash, and olives. Then I finished things off with a sprinkling of feta before baking until golden.

Almost Cheese-less Pasta Casserole Recipe

I'm sure you can imagine re-interpreting this recipe based on the seasons. I opted for butternut squash in part because I had some leftover from the Adzuki Butternut Soup the other day. I could imagine zucchini with roasted tomatoes sprinkled on top in late summer, or an asparagus and dill version this spring. I highly recommend the toasted nuts because the add a nice amount of crunch. And whatever the season, zest the bottom of your baking dish. It will transform your casserole.

 
 
 
 

Almost Cheeseless Pasta Casserole Recipe

I used a 100% farro pizzichi pasta here, but whole wheat penne is much more readily available - shoot for something made from whole grain flour, and roughly that size.

zest of one large lemon
8 ounces dried whole wheat pasta (penne or something comparable in size)
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and sliced into quarter sized pieces
3 handfuls kale, chard, and/or spinach, loosely chopped
2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I use 2% here)
2 egg yolks
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and torn into pieces
scant 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 400F degrees, with a rack in the middle. Butter or oil an 8x12-inch baking dish, or two smaller gratin dishes. Sprinkle with lemon zest and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously, and cook the pasta until al dente. Just 10 seconds before you are done cooking the pasta, stir in the butternut squash and kale - for the quickest possible swim. Quickly (but carefully) drain. Now run cold water over the pasta, squash, and kale (just enough to stop it from cooking). Shake off any extra water and set aside.

While you are waiting for the pasta water to boil, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, garlic, and salt in a large mixing bowl - set aside until the pasta is boiled. Then. when ready, add the pasta-squash-kale mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir in half of the almonds. Scoop everything into the prepared baking dish(es), sprinkle with olives and feta, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve sprinkled with a bit of the chopped fresh mint and remaining almonds.

Serves 6 -8 as a side.

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Your Comments


ashley (sweet & natural)
February 18, 2009

This looks fantastic. I love the use of yogurt to create the sauce, and feta seems like the perfect compliment to it.

 

Laura
February 18, 2009

Looks wonderful, and I'm so with you on the heavy casserole thing. If you get a chance, check out the mushroom and rice casserole in American Masala. Phenomenal, and also very light, thanks to the buttermilk (rather than butter/cheese).

 

The Fat Dietitian
February 18, 2009

This looks delicious! Olives and feta make everything better... :)

 

Sara
February 18, 2009

This sounds like a great alternative to heavy, cheesy casseroles (as much as I love them).

 

The Diva on a Diet
February 18, 2009

This looks wonderful as always and I love the ingredients you've used. But, what I really need to know is where you got that lovely looking farro pasta. WW penne is fine ... but the pasta you've used looks far more toothsome and intriguing!

HS: I can't remember exactly - I think it might have been Bi-Rite Market here in SF. I typically keep my eyes peeled whenever I'm shopping and then grab whatever pastas look interesting and keep them on hand.

 

Ellie from Kitchen Caravan
February 18, 2009

This looks amazing! Love the idea of butternut squash and kale paired with dabs of feta....mmmm....

 

Hallie
February 18, 2009

Since I don't like cheesy things, I thought pasta bakes were totally off limits to me, forever. This looks so amazing! I am totally giving it a shot...maybe when my boyfriend goes off his low-carb diet. Otherwise, that'd just be mean :-)

 

Kalinda
February 18, 2009

Heidi,
I really appreciate your efforts to make casseroles healthier. And you still manage to pack in tons of flavor. :)

 

Supriya
February 18, 2009

This sounds so delicious! Is there any way to make this eggless? Perhaps using silken tofu?

HS: I think it would take a bit of experimenting, but it might be fine just using the yogurt. The egg def. acts as a binder.

 

Catherine Ettlinger
February 18, 2009

What a great idea, love the baked butternut squash, kale and yogurt. I like to use roasted broccoli, pignoli and feta with pasta, and will now try with baking with yogurt. Thanks!

 

NWKate
February 18, 2009

I love it! I also love that forkful of melty oozey mozzarella but am beginning to cook differently. I am discovering the joys of fat free sour cream! And I will definately try this!
Many thanks!

 

Nick
February 18, 2009

Feta and my taste buds don't get along. What do you think about ricotta? Ricotta is one of my favorite cheeses and one of the few cheeses that actually taste good (in my opinion) in low-fat and non-fat varieties. Greek yogurt though, that's genius. Great idea.

HS: Ricotta cold be a nice substitute!

 

Foodess
February 18, 2009

Looks fantastic! I find your blog wonderfully inspiring, and I love your creativity.

 

lactose intolerant veggie
February 18, 2009

Heidi, I just recently discovered your site and am enamored with your recipes. They are a the perfect intersection of health, flavor, texture, creativity and fresh ingredients and i am excited to explore by cooking more of your ideas! Do you have any thoughts on making this dish vegan? is it possible or you think it would significantly alter the texture/flavor component? soy yogurt has a very unique flavor, even the plain ones so I'm not sure whether substituting would be the right step--what do you think?

HS: If you give it a go please report back. I don't particularly like soy yogurt. I might actually do some sort of crushed tomato sauce in place of the dairy? I'd have to play around a bit.

 

Nirvana
February 19, 2009

This looks wonderful Heidi! I totally agree -- heavy, overly cheesy casseroles make me sluggish and heavy too -- thanks for sharing this lighter alternative :)

 

THEMBI MBONANI
February 19, 2009

I just love feta that saltiness

 

This looks fantastic! And I like that you don't use a lot of cheese, just enough to give it some good flavor.

 

Million Mabaso
February 19, 2009

I have never seen recipe like this in my life. Your creativity is a world beating recipe and should be in the Record Book of Quinness because food is irresistibly mouth watering.

 

Maggie
February 19, 2009

Great idea, Heidi! If only I could get my husband to eat nuts in pasta... =)

 

StuffCooksWant
February 19, 2009

Healthy comfort food...how alluring. Especially after my Valentine's Day feeding frenzy.

These flavors are so complimentary and I love the feta, spinach and kalamata combination. Thanks for the great idea!

 

Real Input please~
February 19, 2009

Yes it does look awesome, but has anyone tried making this??? I would like to read feadback and reviews about this dish.

 

Erin
February 19, 2009

Why do you use just the egg yolks instead of the entire egg? I'm imagining a very science-y explanation, I just can't come up with it!

I had them leftover from one of Wayne's meringue experiments ;)

 

Mrs Redboots
February 19, 2009

Isn't it fearfully difficult to avoid the yoghurt separating and looking ucky (albeit tasting nice, I dare say)?

I make a wonderful pasta bake with onions and a tin of tomatoes into which I whisk a scant tbs flour - cook onions first, then add tomato/flour mix and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. You can add sweetcorn, beans, whatever you fancy to this before pouring over cooked pasta, topping with grated cheese if liked, and putting in the oven for half an hour or so.

HS: I didn't have a problem with separation - the eggs help in that regard. Your version sounds tasty!

 

Adrienne
February 19, 2009

Oooh, this looks wonderful. My and my lactose averse belly like the idea of using less cheese and the olives/kale combo is really intriguing. I made your chipotle giant white bean bake last week and it was a huge hit - thanks for all the delicious baked things recipes lately!

 

Scordo.com
February 19, 2009

Good dish. You can try substituting the Swiss Chard with Dandelions, if they're available (they are a bit more delicate and have a bitter versus sweet component, unlike the Swiss Chard).

I've also used fresh bread crumbs, cauliflower, and bits of plum tomato in baked pasta dishes.

Best,
Vince from Scordo.com

 

Sarah L
February 19, 2009

This looks great! Can't wait to try it... definitely earmarking it to make for dinner soon.

 

Oooh I can do feta and I can do yogurt! It's just those pesky other dairy products that give me trouble.I've never heard of zesting a baking pan before, I'll have to try it!

 

Deepak Dogra
February 19, 2009

Hi, I am pure veg, it means NO EGG/MEAT/CHICKEN, is it possible to make this pasta without Egg? and what is the substitute i can use for egg?
thanks...
DD

 

Betsy
February 19, 2009

I am so over cheesy casseroles after 26 years of raising children (with 8 years to go). THIS, however looks like a winner for all of us. We are not vegetarians but I have been commited to making three veg meals a week since 1990. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and ideas.

 

Anonymous
February 19, 2009

so delicious! i'm sure you could use tofu or fake cheese instead...

 

Tegan
February 19, 2009

Heidi, it looks delicious as ever, but what do you mean by "zest the bottom of your casserole dish"? Sprinkle orange or lemon zest?

Tegan

 

Erin
February 19, 2009

Yum! I love lightening up dishes like these. It's a nice surprise and makes you feel good. Lovely recipe!

 

ann
February 19, 2009

can't wait to try this. i made the adzuki butternut squash soup this week and now I can use up my squash. by the way the soup is wonderful. I brought some into work today to share and have received rave reviews! Thanks

 

Alexis
February 19, 2009

Heidi,
I am enamored with 101 cookbooks, supernatural cooking, pretty much everything you do! :) This pasta bake looks amazing, and I would love to make it for my parents, who just won't let go of cheesy, heavy pasta casseroles, but I'm allergic to Greek yogurt. Is there a substitute I could use and maintain the flavors? Thanks!

 

Heather
February 19, 2009

Fantastic! I've been looking for a dish like this -- something my 10-month-old and my husband and I can enjoy together. (The little one loves feta and kalamata!)

Thanks for yet another delicious idea!

 

MC
February 19, 2009

What a wonderful idea, Heidi! I love the creative touch with the zesting of the dish. I will definitely give it a try. Thank you, MC

 

Annalisa
February 19, 2009

This sounds like a great healthy alternative, but still tasty! What would you serve this with??

 

TeaSpot Chef
February 19, 2009

I have to bring a dish to a dinner party this weekend and this looks like the perfect one to bring...thanks for the idea...I'll let you know how it turns out...

 

Rita
February 19, 2009

I love the addition of yogurt to it. I make yougurt-based sauces, but never baked it as a cassarole. Sounds great, although the long melting cheese strings will be missed....

 

Kaiti
February 19, 2009

Heidi - congratulations for being listed in the London Times' list - 50 of the world's best food blogs!

Unrelated, ages ago you were asking for a recipe for Patatas Bravas. Penelope Casas has a great recipe in Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain. The potatoes are baked (with a tiny bit of oil so they're still crispy), and her tomato sauce has enough kick to play off the garlic aioli. mmm... We always make extra sauce and aioli - great on a tortilla (similar to the fritatas you posted about in the past).

 

Maureen
February 19, 2009

Funny about trying to make things less cheesy and heavy, in my world feeding a nearly 2-year old who seems to live too fast to really eat, pasta-bakes are becoming very popular, and they are a place where we can add fat that seems to otherwise go missing from his diet

My question is about the squash... this 'feeding kids' world I live in is always looking for convenience, so I'm wondering if one of those bags of frozen diced squash would work here?

I love reading your recipes and have tried a few, but they are a little on the sophisticated side for 2-year olds... sigh. the things I miss nowadays...

 

Andreea
February 19, 2009

If one is completely off dairy, what would you suggest as a replacement for cheese and yogurt?

 

Karen
February 19, 2009

I think lemon makes EVERYthing taste better - what a lovely way to lighten up a casserole. And the mint, too - ooh lal la! I'm using sweet potato inseate dof the s2quash, as that is what I have on hand.
Tegan - I think Heidi means zest the lemon and sprinkle it on the bottom of dish as noted in recipe.

 

The Italian Dish
February 19, 2009

It's fun to see the farro pizzichi! How unusual. What a great dish, just beautiful.

 

The Duo Dishes
February 19, 2009

Interesting crunch with the almonds. This is the first time we've seen a nut, other than pine nuts, on a hot pasta dish.

 

Doug at Words Into Money
February 19, 2009

Wow! Can't wait to try this. I too love those cheesy pasta dishes. Seem to please the crowds as well. But too much can't be too good for anybody.

Awesome combination. May be dinner tonight.

Thanks very much Heidi!

 

Treehouse Chef
February 19, 2009

Wow! How unique! I can't wait to try it.

 

Sheila | Live Well 360°
February 19, 2009

What an interesting twist - Greek yogurt beat with egg. I am excited to try this recipe.

I also really like adding slivered almonds to pasta dishes, it gives a nice crunch.

Thanks for another great recipe, Heidi.

Sheila

 

kim
February 19, 2009

i love that it has so many pretty colors, too!

 

nicole
February 19, 2009

This looks fantastic! I like the thought of less cheese -- I mean, I LOVE cheese but eat probably too much of it!

And incidentally, thank you so much for pointing out Nopa's white bean bake awhile back ... that's my favorite of theirs, and though I've tried to recreate it myself it never even comes close. I'm planning to try it out toute de suite.

 

nithya at hungrydesi
February 19, 2009

Great recipe and a pretty picture. All too often, "really good" vegetarian dishes are just overladen with cheese. My husband and I went to this famous vegetarian restaurant in Nice, France, and I swear they fed us small portions of veggies and carbs drowning in ungodly amounts of cheese.

While I love cheese, I would much prefer this!

 

Trish
February 19, 2009

You are my hero!


Trish

 

Katarina
February 19, 2009

This sound so good with the youghurt. I am going to try this dish this wekeend! :) Thankyou for a very nice blog!

 

Jackie
February 19, 2009

I will be making this very soon. The combination of ingredients sounds just perfect.

 

lisette
February 19, 2009

Looks delicious! I''m italian and I love pasta! I'm going to try it, be sure!!

 

RenaissanceTrophyWife
February 19, 2009

oooh, the texture looks divine. I can't wait to try this!

 

Jeanne
February 19, 2009

Will this work with homemade skim milk yogurt? Should I drain some of the liquid out to make it more creamy? The recipe is perfect for me and my husband -- thanks.

 

Alisa
February 19, 2009

This looks delicious and i am definitely with you on not wanting heavy, cheesy, fattening pasta dishes (ok, they are awesome in small amounts) ... I love your use of yogurt as a subsitute for many things as well, it's a brilliant idea!

 

Betsy
February 19, 2009

Sounds great, Heidi. If I drain regular yogurt through cheese cloth, will I have the equivalent of Greek Yogurt?
I made the adzuki squash soup with some cannelini beans in my kitchen. I used the acorn squash, but I am too lazy to peel it, so I halved it and baked it in the oven. The peel came right off. First time I ever made acorn squash. My husband and I ate the squash just plain the day I baked it. Is it
ever good!! The next day I made the soup. It was also a big hit. We had some left over
soup so we added it to the fabulous lentil
soup we brought home from A Taste of
Lebanon, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in
the Andersonville section of Chicago. That
was also good.
Keep up the great blog. I love your ideas. And congratulations on being named one of the top 50 cooks in the UK. Did I read that right? And you're not evenin the UK!

 

janice
February 19, 2009

Heidi, I just found some adzuki beans for your soup. How do you cook yours?

 

neal
February 19, 2009

The other cool thing about you Heidi--one of many, is that unlike so many sites, you actually read the comments and respond. Keep all the great recipes coming!

 

Snowmeg
February 19, 2009

Tonight I made this with whole wheat rotini, spinach, acorn squash, and fresh basil, as they were what was lined up in the bullpen. It was excellent - the yogurt and eggs bound everything beautifully and managed to hover just between rich/creamy and cloudy/tangy. This was nicely balanced by the salty feta, toasty almonds, and smooth sweet squash. Speaking of smooth- the almonds are key, they deliver a welcome crunchy contrast. People with allergies could top the dish with some crunchy toasted bread crumbs, maybe. I think butternut is preferable to acorn as it is sweeter and more colorful, but I had an acorn lying around and do not like carrying heavy squash home.
Lastly, your website makes me miss San Francisco desperately where places with names like Bi-rite have farro pizzichi....

 

Anita
February 19, 2009

I also made this tonight, and it was delightful. I loved how the mint, feta and olives mixed with each other... creating a beautiful aroma in the kitchen.

When I make this next time, and I will, I'll cook the pasta slightly less than al dente so it's firmer upon baking (personal preference), and add less salt initially as the feta I used was rather salty.

Thanks so much for this recipe! It was divine. I'm a huge fan of this site.

Cheers!

 

Irina
February 19, 2009

Thank you for a wonderful idea! I have never ever made a baked pasta dish before... I made it today using whole wheat pasta (worked pretty well), red peppers, onions (sauteed them briefly) a little left over mozzarella cheese and spinach (did not have any squash...or feta and did not get to stop at the store) and it came out really well. I made a quick tomatoe sauce to serve for my husband and it worked really well as a condiment. I also mixed a little bit of harissa paste into the yogurt-egg mixture,and it was not in the least bit offensive. Thank you again for your great recipes - I absolutely love trying new vegetarian dishes, and you have wonderful ideas.

 

Anonymous
February 20, 2009

Heidi - just found your site recently. I think I love you! Everything is fabulous. Can't wait for payday so I can buy your book.

 

Alex
February 20, 2009

Wow - fresh and clean. Looks great!

 

Jessie
February 20, 2009

Others have said it, but I'd like to add my congratulations on the "50 of the world's best food blogs" article. Though I have to say, if I were making that list I'd have made you #1.

 

cherie
February 20, 2009

And people think being a vegetarian is boring!
Great flavour combination.

 

Caitlin
February 20, 2009

I was gonna ask you about the pasta too! I was in San Francisco for the month of September and I picked up that same pasta at Rainbow and liked it so much that I brought a bag of it home with me. Now I'm hoarding what I've got left cause I bought it in bulk and have no idea where to get more. If you know (or find out) what brand it is or if it could be mail ordered, could you post?

The casserole looks great, maybe I'll try it with what's left of my precious farro pasta.

 

Cecilia
February 20, 2009

Great, diferent, special

 

Jenn
February 20, 2009

Someone asked about a vegan version: While not having the binding properties of egg, I make a vegan pasta filling that might work with these ingredients. It's basically ground cashews and firm tofu blended into a ricotta-like mixture. The texture won't be the same, but it's pretty versatile and tasty.

 

Paula
February 20, 2009

Hallie --

If you're worried about your boyfriend's low-carb diet, make this dish (or any pasta dish) with Dreamfield's pasta. It's made so that you don't get the blood sugar rush that pasta would ordinarily give you, and tastes just like regular pasta. It comes in penne, rotelle, spaghetti, linguini, elbow macaroni, and lasagna noodles. My local Safeway sells it, but the Dreamfield's website also has a store finder to see where it's sold in your area. Dreamfield's has saved my skin a number of times, when I've had a craving for pasta and didn't want to blow my low-carb diet.

 

James
February 20, 2009

Made this last night. So delicious! I used whole wheat pasta shells and used delicata squash instead (a little less sweet). Normally I get the stink-eye from the family when I do whole wheat pasta but in the casserole it totally works.

 

beth
February 20, 2009

nom nom nom!

i've been trying to think of some new healthier, casually meat-free pasta dishes that aren't loads of hassle and aren't, as you say, cheese-fests.

this sounds just about right.

 

Cake Lady
February 20, 2009

Just sent you some blog love: cakeissweet.tumblr.com

Keep up your amazing work!!

 

carrie
February 20, 2009

just wanted to let you know my husband has been making your recipes for quite awhile now, and every single thing he makes is AMAZING. thank you.

 

Susan
February 20, 2009

I found this dish to be very tasty, but mine came out pretty dry. Perhaps adding a bit of olive oil into the mix would have helped?

 

NotNatalie
February 20, 2009

This sounds like a mix of ingredients I would have pulled together, so I was pretty proud of myself reading through your description. Then I read "...zest the bottom of your baking dish."
Oh Wow, now I understand why creative cooks are such admirers of your blog. That would've never occurred to me, and I love love the idea. Mmmm....

 

Kristin
February 21, 2009

I have everything to make this. Yippee! Looks like dinner. Thanks!

 

thepinkpeppercorn
February 21, 2009

Gorgeous! And a delicious combination of ingredients!!! Fabulous!

 

Angela Corinne maldino
February 21, 2009

I absolutely love you and your recipes, Heidi I wait for more.

 

Susan
February 21, 2009

I made this last night. It was very good, but the butternut squash did not cook all the way through despite being cut into quarter size pieces. Next time I might precook the squash or cut it even smaller.
But I love this idea of binding whole wheat pasta with yogurt and egg yolks. I can easily see how adaptable this basic template would be for a ton of different ingredients.

 

Claudia at Weird Vegetables
February 21, 2009

What an inspiration this dish was to me! I just created something similar in concept with orzo, spinach and beets, all thanks to this post.

 

Jenny
February 21, 2009

I just made this with regular plain yogurt, and it came out perfect. Just under-cook your pasta a little. It'll soak up the extra liquid from the yogurt while it's baking. You save the effort of draining the regular yogurt or running to the store for the Greek style.

 

MrSound
February 21, 2009

Whoa! Really pasta without cheese won't be a pasta for me. I love ItalianFoods and surely will try this one. But with a lot of cheese.*smirk

 

Heidi
February 21, 2009

I'm glad you're receptive to this general idea - I can see how it is a bit of an odd-bird mix of ingredients.

Also, thanks again to all of you who jump in with answers to questions others ask - it is very helpful to me. Particularly on days when I'm not in front of my computer as much - for example if I'm traveling ;) -h

 

Anonymous
February 21, 2009

I'm going to make a batch of yogurt and this sounds like a wonderful way to use it. This sounds like a nice pan deliciousness!

 

Mahnaz
February 21, 2009

I made this today with penne pasta as you recommended and it was okay.
The yogurt just curdled while baking and the dish did not appear as in your photograph.

HS: Hi Mahnaz, I'm curious - did you cool the pasta under running water before tossing it with the yogurt/egg mixture?

 

dalmacija moja inspiracija
February 22, 2009

nice photo's...and reciepes...you are in me favorites...regards / pozdrav from dalmatia...

 

Joan
February 22, 2009

My son-in-law can't have dairy products and our daughter really struggles making him dishes he likes - and dishes for family dinners - that he can eat. This recipe looks great and I'll pass it on to her.

 

Dominika
February 22, 2009

Thanks for this great recipe! I used parsley instead of kale/spinach and a different kind of squash, and it tasted wonderful. I love the use of the lemon zest (I have to admit that I used a little orange zest too!). Delicious. Your recipes are very inspiring.

 

lkb
February 22, 2009

so... i made this the other day, and it was good, but the squash wasn't cooked, even after additional time in the oven. any suggestions? pre-cook it before adding to the mixture? i'm pretty sure squash shouldn't be crunchy...

otherwise, the recipe was great.

 

ellie
February 22, 2009

The recipe instructions are confusing:

-Just 10 seconds before you are done cooking the pasta, stir in the butternut squash and chard [*Is this when I add the kale and spinach, too? If I'm using a bit of all 3?*]
-Now run cold water over the pasta, squash and kale [*so, now you mention the kale, but NOT the chard...??]
-just enough to stop the chard from cooking [*and now, you mention the chard, but not the kale?!]

...I think I'd like to try to use all three. Do I boil/rinse all three under the same instruction as each other thanks.

HS: Sorry, Ellie, I was trying to communicate that you could use any of the three. I'll try to make it more clear.

 

Anonymous
February 22, 2009

I am eating this as I type & there is a big smile on my face. The flavors are delightful and the yogurt is genius!

A few notes/tips:
(bear in mind that I used g/f brown rice pasta -- but I don't suspect that made a difference on these points.)
1) Cut your squash very small or cook it for more than the 10 second "swim" -- mine must've been diced too large & it's a bit underdone.
2) You can sneak a larger portion of greens in here. I am glad I did.
3)I'd leave the almonds out of the baking dish until the end, toast them separately, and sprinkle them ALL on just before serving. Mine got a bit soggy.

Thank you, Heidi, for a great new dinner concept. I'm sure I'll be trying all kinds of twist on this.

 

Theano
February 22, 2009

I just made this for dinner and I can hardly wait for it to come out of the oven. It already looks and tastes awesome going in! Used spelt rotini, whole eggs, diced butternut (what I had on hand, so gave it a little extra boiling), a little more feta and olives than what you called for (because we love them), and oops I guess I forgot to toast the almonds. I'm sure that would have made it perfect, but it is already going to be darn good. You are an inspiration!

Theano

 

Melody
February 23, 2009

I made this recipe the day it posted - sounded so good!

I had FROZEN cubed butternut squash on hand so I roasted it first to thaw and precook it; reading the other comments about underdone squash, I'm glad I did that way.

I used spinach leaves, and totally agree that more would have been better.. although my husband wanted more squash in it...

It might have been a bit too yogurty for my taste, next time I will cut the yogurt in half and replace with skim milk or other liquid...

Every bite was different; one bite tasted like garlicky spinach; the next bite was creamy butternut squash; the next bite was yogurty pasta with an almond crunch. Very different tastes and textures, such an intriguingly dish!

Otherwise - delicious, interesting, easy, healthful... I love this website, such great recipes and ideas!!

 

Sam
February 24, 2009

This was absolutely delicious! As someone used to heavy tomato sauce and cheese Italian pasta bakes that my mom makes, I found this to be a very refreshing change. Thanks!

 

julia
February 24, 2009

regarding the source of the pasta: they have it in bulk at rainbow grocery.

 

April
February 24, 2009

do you think it would be good if I cut up turnips to put in this too? I desperately need to use them before they go bad.

 

Karen
February 24, 2009

I made this Saturday night for some friends - it was so good. I subbed basil for mint, added some chopped pepperoncinis, and then squeezed lemon juice over the top when I served it. I agree with the users above about the underdone squash, although it still tasted great.

Also, I hate leftovers, but have been trying to save $$ lately, so I forced myself to eat it the next day - and it was really great! I put more feta and almonds on top and baked in an individual dish. It tasted like the first go-round.

 

Jennifer
February 25, 2009

This sounds amazing!! I love how hearty, yet delicate it it!!

 

Ashley
February 25, 2009

I made this last night because it looked so tasty... but it definitely looks better in the picture. It just had a funny taste to it.

I think it might've been much better with a little bit more egg (to hold it together) and don't use the kale. It gave it a bad taste.