Greek Goodness Pasta Bake

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just earlier this month I returned home form a trip to Greece! It was a very different trip from most. We didn't see the beautiful islands and the ancient ruins (except for a brief walk near the Acropolis) we were working with refugees (500,000 in Athens alone) and learning about the prevalence of human trafficking through there. Globally, there's an estimated 27,000,000 human slaves today... it's some really eye-opening stuff! If you want more details on that, check out It was an awesome trip and we are so glad that we went! Maybe next time we'll hit the islands. :)


Of course, while we were there we ate some AMAZING Greek food. I tried to talk some recipes out of a local but she was pretty tight-lipped about her secrets and said that even if I had the recipe it wouldn't be the same because the ingredients would be different. That's never stopped me from trying! ... but I took the hint.  :)

The Greek diet is fairly meat-heavy, but I wanted to create a meatless meal that still captures the classic flavors of Greece in a fresh, healthy way. This isn't an authentic and traditional Greek dish, it's just my vegetarian version of Greece on a plate.

* Easy to make ahead
* about 8-10 servings
* Tons of veggies

1 lb. short pasta (such as ziti)
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 Tbs. oregano
1  Jar (12 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped, reserving half the liquid
1  can diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 cup kalamata olives, drained and chopped
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
8 oz. feta cheese, devided
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 lemon

1. Boil water and prepare pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, saute red onion and garlic in olive oil over med-low, adding oregano when it starts turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the marinated artichoke hearts and their reserved liquid, tomatoes, olives, and  half the feta and combine. Cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Toss with the prepared pasta and salt to taste. Transfer to a large casserole dish and top with the remaining feta and breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 min at 350 F (175 C)
5. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on top just before serving and enjoy!


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