Get a head start on this by prepping the squash the night before. The filling and sauce can also be prepared a day in advance. Don’t let all the steps scare you, it sounds like a lot more work than it actually is.
Sun Oven Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne
(Adapted for the Sun Oven from Gourmet magazine)
For Squash Filling
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large onion, chopped
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
This is another recipe from Weight Watchers. The lightened up béchamel sauce uses cornstarch to add body without adding as much fat. It’s an acceptable substitution (not to mention that it’s much easier to make) if you want to cut back on calories. If not go ahead and use the real thing; butter and all.
Sun Oven Asparagus Lasagna
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups low-fat milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
As good as last Sunday’s pasta was, I still prefer that particular dish when it’s prepared the traditional way, so I spent the next few days searching for recipes that used similar ingredients but were more adaptable to solar cooking. I found one on epicurious.com, Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Torta, that consisted of layers of crespelle (an Italian version of crepes), bechamel sauce, rapini, and sausage.
The crespelle were way too much work and I didn’t like the idea of a butter based sauce (bechamel) combined with the other ingredients. I decided to make up something of my own. I used no-boil, whole-wheat lasagna noodles and made an olive oil based bechamel.
I think I’m on the right track, but as you can see in the picture I was a little short on sauce. The top noodles were too dry and I had to throw them away.
Once I get the quantities right this will probably be put on our dinner rotation. It makes a satisfying one dish meal and the leftovers are good for an easy to reheat lunch. And, of course, when I have those quantities I’ll post the recipe here.
This lasagna can be as easy or as labor intensive as you want it to be. The pesto and tomato sauce can be purchased or homemade. I like using my solar roasted tomatoes (click here for recipe) but a chunky store-bought sauce works just fine. I much prefer homemade pesto to the commercial kind, but again, if pressed for time, go with high-quality store-bought.
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lage egg, beaten
2 10-oz packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 7-0z package prepared, or 3/4 cup homemade
4 cups purchased chunky tomato sauce or chopped solar roasted tomatoes (from about 3 pounds fresh tomatoes)