What’s For Dinner? Golden Days Lasagna
The name of this dish comes first the sunny color of the golden tomato sauce and Zephyr squash. It’s also appropriate because we’re treasuring being able to create dinner out of freshly picked vegetables as we savor the last warm days of summer. It’s wonderful to let the garden’s produce determine the menu. Photos first today, recipe after the visuals.
14 or more yellow tomatoes from the garden. (I used a combination of Golden Girl and Virginia Sweets)
Three cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
For lasagna filling
12 to 16 yellow summer squash, medium to small, sliced. (I used Zephyr)
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
Fresh basil – enough for 5 tablespoons chopped
Fresh oregano – enough for two tablespoons chopped (if substituting dried use half as much.)
Chopped red pepper, sweet or hot to your taste (I used a half of a mildly spicy pepper more for color than for taste, and because it was left over from something else.)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 package no-boil lasagna pasta
Cheeses of your choice – I used the following:
1 carton part-skim ricotta
1 log goat cheese
1 package shredded 6 Cheese Italian
pepper to taste
To make the sauce:
Put some olive oil in a large pot and set the heat to medium. Add the garlic and cook for three to five minutes until soft but not browned. Remove from heat while you fix tomatoes.
Boil a pot of water and when it’s boiling put the tomatoes in the water for about two minutes or until their skins start to crack. Remove them from the water and let cool so you don’t burn your fingers while peeling them. Cut out the stem core, remove any funky spots and peel. Add the peeled tomatoes to the garlic.
Cook the tomato sauce on medium to high heat until it is thick. I find that yellow tomatoes have a higher water content so this takes a bit longer than a red sauce. Since this sauce will be absorbed by the pasta, you can stop cooking it when it’s a bit more liquidy than normal tomato sauce. When the sauce is done, add a Tablespoon of the chopped basil.
To prepare the squash:
While the sauce is cooking down wash and slice the squash. Melt the butter in the pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the chopped onion until it’s translucent. Add the squash and oregano and sauté, stirring frequently, until it’s just barely cooked.
Use the rest of the olive oil to grease a large pan. Start by laying a layer of pasta on the bottom. Spread a layer of the squash on top of this and top with a quarter of the sauce. Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese on top of this and add dollops of ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with chopped basil and grind on fresh pepper to taste. Top with another layer of pasta.
Continue adding the ingredients in layers, putting goat cheese in the middle layer. There will be three layers of pasta topped with three layers of vegetables and cheese.
Cover assembled lasagna with a layer of parchment paper and a layer of foil. Either bake immediately or put into the refrigerator until ready to bake. (If holding until baking remove the pan from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about a half hour before baking.)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the lasagna for about
Notes: I don’t add salt because there is salt in the cheeses and that is enough saltiness for our taste. If you like food more heavily salted, add a teaspoon into the tomato sauce. Also, I did not put all the fresh basil into the sauce while it was cooking down because I didn’t want that fresh-basil flavor to evaporate while the sauce simmered. For this reason I sprinkled the majority of the cut basil over the ingredients as the lasagna was layered.