Weekday Vegetarian: Squash, Sage and Feta Pasta Bake


Photo: Kelly Rossiter

These days there are music mash-ups everywhere and now there are literary mash-ups, but last week I inadvertently came up with a culinary mash-up with pretty tasty results.Rebecca, who is helping me out with some cooking, brought over some baked pasta when I wasn't home. In addition to the pan of pasta, there were two mysterious jars, one holding about two ounces of an extremely garlicy salad-type dressing, and other other some kind of bean with quinoa.

When I asked my husband (who is harder of hearing than he will admit) what Rebecca had said about how to heat all this up, he said she just mumbled something and left. So, when it came time to heat the pasta I spread the jar of the bean and quinoa mixture over top of the pasta, and then drizzled the dressing over the whole thing and popped it into the oven. The result was a creamy pasta dish underneath filled with vegetables, with this slightly crunchy and tangy topping and a whole hit of garlic at the end.

As it turns out, Rebecca had been experimenting trying to make a quinoa and black chickpea loaf. It had completely fallen apart so she scooped some into the jar to ask my opinion on the taste, while she figured out how to keep it in a loaf. She was highly amused that I had put the two together, but conceded that it could be a pretty tasty adventure.

This recipe is by Rebecca Vandevelde, without the quinoa chickpea topping.

Squash, Sage and Feta Pasta Bake

1 butternut squash, cut into large pieces and drizzed with olive oil
1 head of garlic, with the top sliced off to expose the cloves and drizzed with oil.
3 medium onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Small handful of fresh sage or 2-3 tbsp dried sage
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, with large stalks trimmed off
1 cup sheep's milk feta cheese, plus some for sprinkling on top
Dried pasta

1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large roasting pan, roast squash and garlic until squash is cooked through and browned and garlic is roasted and soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile in a large pan, cook onions over low heat until caramelized, taking care not to burn them. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. When garlic and squash are slightly cooled, separate the flesh from the peels and skins, and mash them with a fork, leaving some large chunks of squash and garlic. Add the squash, garlic and Swiss chard to the pan with the onions and saute everything together. Add about 1/2 cup of water, and stir together. Simmer everything until the chard is cooked and everything has become a thick sauce. Stir in 1 cup of crumbled feta. Meanwhile, cook pasta in rapidly boiling salted water according to instructions on the package, and drain. Stir the cooked pasta into the squash sauce until evenly combined.

4. Spoon into a greased baking pan and sprinkle with more crumbled feta. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes, or until everything is heated through and the feta on top has browned a bit.

More Weekday Vegetarian Recipes

Weekday Vegetarian: Samosas
Weekday Vegetarian: Greens with Tahini
Weekday Vegetarian: Tofu and Wild Mushrooms

Related Content on Treehugger.com