Pastitsio

A lot of non solar prep work goes into this Greek inspired baked pasta. Luckily, it can all be done the night before. The next day all you’ll have to do is heat up the Sun Oven and pop it in. It’s great for picnics, especially if you’re somewhere where you can set up the Sun Oven.

Vegetarian Pastitsio

Ingredients

For the Pasta:

12 ounces dried penne pasta

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 can (13-ounces) evaporated whole milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup small-curd cottage cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For the Vegetable Topping:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 can (7 1/2-ounces) tomato sauce (or 1 cup homemade)

3 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 package (11-ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Lightly butter a deep casserole, set aside.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly to prevent browning, for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the evaporated milk, whisking constantly. Cook the sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the white sauce into the eggs. Mix in the remaining sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and drained pasta. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the basil.

Spread the thawed spinach over the pasta in the casserole dish and spoon the tomato sauce over the spinach. (Can be prepared up to this point the night before, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake) Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, cover with a lid or aluminum foil and a dark dish towel. Bake in the Sun Oven until bubbling, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

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