Wednesday, March 7

Solar Spaghetti with Red Tomato Butter Onion Sauce - Crazy Cooking Challenge

It's another Crazy Cooking Challenge and for March 2012, the assignment is spaghetti with RED sauce. And, spaghetti was the only pasta allowed. Thank the Lord I found one with just three -- count them, 1,2,3 -- ingredients because I had to make it, twice! Oh, yeah, Dumb Bunny, me, didn't read the fine print and used penne pasta for my first attempt. Shame on me. But, I didn't care. With just tomatoes, butter, and an onion, you are transported to another level of gastronomic ecstacy.  Well, actually, just two ingredients, because you throw one away, when it's time to serve -- what could be easier?
This absolutely delicious recipe was found on Deb Perelman's blog called Smitten Kitchen. She is a food photographer extraordinaire, prepares fantastic foods, is NOT a professional chef -- and, does everything in a little New York apartment kitchen! That isn't to say she hasn't been noticed in the blogging world, but it does mean she meets the criteria. Her recipes are within everyone's budget because she doesn't use exotic ingredients and she's tenacious about getting each recipe, just so.  As with other Challenges, I'm sending you directly to her site for an in-depth tale on Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions and only adding what I did using the solar oven because the purpose is to introduce you to new bloggers and, hopefully, discover someone you want to visit on a regular basis.

Solar Spaghetti with Red Tomato Butter Onion Sauce  is my adaptation of this incredibly easy sauce. Deb calls for a 28oz can of whole tomatoes and a whole onion, cut in half. As you know, I dehydrate straight from the garden for that garden-fresh taste and that's what I used. Six slices of dried tomato equaled one Early Girl tomato (approx. 10 ounces), so I used 24 slices for rehydration in 24 ounces of warm water. (I know. I know. Simple math says it should be 30 ounces, but I wasn't looking for extra liquid and knew that this would do what I wanted it to do.) One tablespoon of dried onion equals one medium onion. I wrapped the onions in two layers of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band, leaving enough room for expansion, and let it sit in 2 tablespoons of warm water until all liquid was absorbed. 



Because my tomatoes hadn't been skinned, the rehydrated tomatoes were run thru the processor to prevent 'strings' in the finished sauce. The tomatoes were returned to the tempered measuring cup, along with the cheesecloth sack of rehydrated onions, and zapped in the microwave for 4 minutes to get things started and reduce any temperature drop in the preheated solar oven.

I stirred in the 5 tablespoons of butter after pouring everything into a 4-quart roaster, added the cover and cooked it in the solar oven for approximately 1.5 hours. The sauce was pretty thick, by then, but still needed a bit more reduction because I hadn't cooked it uncovered, letting excess moisture escape. Final reduction was done, stovetop, in under five minutes, in a skillet over medium-high heat. I squeezed the onion sack between two wooden spoons to get every last drop of goodness before discarding, and added a touch of salt.


When done, this sauce is smooth, silky smooth, and unbelievably delicious.  I sprinkled a bit of parmesan cheese over top and added a few sprigs of fresh Italian Parsley that didn't know it was winter time and has been happily growing in the herb garden. So easy. Please give it a try.


And, if you have any leftover, this sauce is perfect for dipping, well, anything! Something I discovered, quite by accident; yup.  Yes, those are leftover KFC wings on a paper plate! Trust me, this is dangerous territory.


As always, I hope you'll visit the other Challengers and leave them some comment love, too. I know you'll find new sauces to try for your spaghetti dishes, BUT, you'll be able to use any pasta you want because it's your kitchen -- and, you're in charge!

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28 comments:

  1. So easy to make and still so delicious :-)

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

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  2. It is always so much fun to see how you cook up recipes for these challenges. This one does not disappoint!

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    1. Thanks. This has been a great lesson, for me, too! Just 3 ingredients was a major mountain for me to climb and believe in, and this proved the test.

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  3. Cute post - love the wings on the paper plate at the end. :)

    I hope you'll stop by and visit my CCC - Spaghetti Pie

    :)
    ButterYum

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  4. Love the simplicity...can't argue with 3 ingredients!
    #29

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    1. Oh, look, we're side by side! Isn't this fun! Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Wow, three ingredients? I love it! Great choice.

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    1. It's a long list of folks to visit. I love these Challenges. Give it a try, it will really cut down on your grocery shopping!

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  6. I'm one of those who loves easy recipes, and a 3 ingredient recipe fits the bill. Your sauce looks delicious.

    Would love if you stopped by when you have a chance http://wineladycooks.blogspot.com/2012/03/spaghetti-with-red-sauce-easy-light.html #30.

    Thanks for sharing your tips and techniques.
    Mangia!
    Joanne


    Joanne

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    1. Hey, Joanne, love your recipe, too! I'm going to give all the recipes a try, so I don't have to worry about what to fix for at least another year! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your own recipe.

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  7. Sold on 3 ingredients! Wow. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. And, thank you for stopping by. And, of course, I can't resist letting you know that anything you fix in a crock pot, you can fix in a solar oven -- for FREE. Just a thought... just a thought... If I haven't stopped by, yet, I will. It's a long list of Challengers.

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  8. I love that we made the same sauce in two very different ways. The sauce IS totally amazing.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my CCC entry: Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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    1. Genius does travel the same roads, don't you think?!? This was just too tempting to NOT try. Can't complain about shopping for ingredients, that's for sure. Love your site, too!

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  9. How smart, I love that you used the extra for a dipping sauce, I'll bet it was just perfect!

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    1. Hey, if Dominos can do it... It was there and I went for it. Boy, was I glad. Delish. Would even consider making the sauce for party dipping. Thanks for stopping by. If I haven't visited, I'll be there!

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  10. Sounds simple which is always good. I faltered a bit on the pasta as well - we don't use spaghetti much, I was glad angel hair was on the very short list. Thanks for stopping by my blog. #18

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    1. Love this Challenge and visiting the blogs, Terry. There are still so many to go; but, I'll get there. I think it's important when getting involved in a Challenge that you do follow the rules or not enter. It's just not fair to the other entrants. BTW, this sauce is so good, it's still great two days in a row!

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  11. What a great recipe--only 3 ingredients and it cooks in a solar cooker! How neat! I bet the butter made the sauce so rich and flavorful. Thanks for sharing the link to the recipe.

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    1. Follow the butter.... follow the butter. Oh, yeah, the French know what they're doing. It is delicious and, really, no words can describe how 3 ingredients morph into this wonderful sauce...

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  12. wow... that HAS to be yummy. Don't see how you could go wrong with butter. :)

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    1. Exactly. Didn't Julia teach us this! Hard to believe and, yet, it's true. Thanks for stopping by. You've had a very busy winter, haven't you. And, your creations are adorable, as always. Hope you sell out, non-stop.

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  13. Replies
    1. Baked Spaghetti is a very common meal here. I just love it. So, I'm really looking forward to trying your recipe -- and, of course, giving it the solar baking touch. Looking forward to the next Challenge; aren't you!

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  14. Sounds like a great recipe, amazing that it only has the 3 ingredients.

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    1. Isn't it? And that truly is the amazing part. I still marvel at the simplicity and how delicious it is. So, do give it a try. Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. Smart! Love the simplicity of the recipe, I bet it was delicious!!
    Thank you so much for stopping by!

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    1. I'm trying to get through everyone, but it's a long journey. At least, I have a year's worth of recipes to look forward to. Well, more, actually, because it won't be every night. Hope you'll visit, again.

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I really want to hear from you, so please, share your thoughts. We're not really strangers -- we're just friends who haven't met. Please use language suitable for young people to view. I'll be visiting you before long. Meanwhile, thank's for stopping by and leaving some comment love!

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