Saturday, December 5

Solar Cooking for the Future - Make Ahead Pepperoni Spaghetti Sauce

Solar Cook Your Sauces for the Future - or Tonight!
My uncle loved to cook. He swore that spaghetti sauces tasted much better after the ingredients were 'married' in the freezer for at least a week and were best after a month! I couldn't argue because his sauces were always delicious. Well, you know what happens when you start thinking about food -- it was time to plan a 'sauce wedding' of my own. I had just enough time to prepare a sauce for next week's pasta meal. It was 11:30AM and I had to get cracking.

Garden-fresh Veggies Form the Base for Pepperoni Spaghetti Sauce
This is my waist-high 6'x24' garden in full summer bloom. It is December, now, and the foremost corner doesn't know it! Volunteer tomatoes have climbed over the fence to the right; carrots, onions, chard, chives, stevia, sweet basil (almost gone) and sage still offer their bounty. By next week, all will be put to bed for the winter so the soil can rest and get sterilized for next year's planting.

The harvest yielded about a quart of cherry tomatoes, one onion, carrot tops, chives, stevia, sage and sweet basil -- I was ready.  The tomatoes were cleaned then cut in half and the onion chopped. Using a large skillet, I sauteed them over medium heat in two tablespoons of olive oil. While that was doing its thing, I cleaned and chopped the herbs and added ground oregano, ground fennel seed, thyme, one teaspoon yellow mustard, a dash of mace, and salt and pepper to taste. And chopped the pepperoni into bite-size pieces. When the tomatoes and onion were soft, I mashed them up a bit, stirred in all the herbs and spices and let them simmer for one-to-two minutes.

Sensational Sauce from the Solar Oven  
Since time in the winter sun was precious, I decided to use a large casserole dish to keep the sauce shallow enough to build up heat quickly and concentrate the flavors. Put the whole dish into an oven bag, sealed it, and placed it in the solar oven by 12:30PM.  I didn't use the SolarWear(tm) heating bag because I wanted to keep the temperature low and slow. By 4:30PM, it was bubbly and ready to bring inside.

It turned out I didn't have my uncle's patience and, in my weakness, prepared some pasta for dinner. After four hours of togetherness, I figured the sauce was 'married' enough, by today's standards. Next time, I'll double the recipe and put half away in the freezer to give it that extra deliciousness. But, for tonight, I'm having me some pasta with solar-cooked Pepperoni Spaghetti Sauce.

33 comments:

  1. sounds delicious, a friend of mine told me how solar cooking is a delightful alternative to conventional cooking methods. I think it's complicated to use but I'm planning to get one probably one of these days.

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  2. Don't be afraid to try it. It's no different from other appliances that you have to learn the tips and tricks. And, you'll love it. I promise.

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  3. I'm so inspired by your recipes and suggestions for solar cooking. I would have never thought of making spaghetti sauce in my solar cooker, but now I know I can. Thanks for helping all of us beginning solar cookers gain confidence and experience.

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