Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Solar Baked White Lasagna

When I saw this recipe for Pancetta and Taleggio Lasagna with Treviso in the latest issue of Bon Appétit I had to make it.  Reading it immediately brought on cravings for this food I grew up with. Taleggio, an Italian cheese from the region of Lombardy, is as common in a Milanese refrigerator as peanut butter is here. I had to act fast. My non cheese eating in-laws are coming soon for the holidays and January's issue will arrive with new temptations that could make me forget about this comfort food from my past.

Normally this is not the kind of recipe I enjoy. Too many hard to find expensive ingredients, too many calories, and too much work. But I was on a mission. I had to go to three different stores to track down everything I needed. Still, I couldn't find Treviso radicchio, so I used Chioggia radicchio instead. I know Treviso is considered to be better, but I never really could tell the difference once it was chopped up. This morning, with all the ingredients gathered I was ready to go.

The bulk of this recipe - which I cut in half to avoid taking out a second mortgage in order to finance it - is not cooked in the Sun Oven. Like any lasagna dish the sauce, filling, and noodles are cooked on the stove, assembled, and then baked, or in my case, solar baked. It was ready in time for lunch and there was enough for dinner too.

I probably won't be making this again. It was good, but not great, and extremely rich. I did eat some of the taleggio before melting it in the sauce, and that was great. In the future I may try paring the taleggio cheese with its natural partner, polenta. That would really bring me back to my youth in Milan. Unfortunately polenta is the one food I know of that Martin does not like. Mmmm, when is the next boys' night out?

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