Almost Cheeseless Pasta Casserole



Serves 6-8 as a side.

  • 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
  • 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. Preheat oven to 400F degrees, with a rack in the middle. Butter or oil an 8×12-inch baking dish, or two smaller gratin dishes. Sprinkle with lemon zest and set aside.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 the remaining almonds.

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