Sometimes, just using a foreign language to describe dinner makes it taste even more scrumptuous; don't you think? Fagiolata is an Italian way of saying pork and beans -- and, I've stretched it just a bit further to be inclusive of all beans so I could get away with using Great Northern Beans in my dish. I think what makes it more Italian is the combination of spices that are not common in American dishes. (Oh, gosh, my daughter's going to kill me because I forgot to add a contrast color to my photo... somebody, save me!)
Solar Fagiolata over Baked Polenta
10 ozs tomatoes, crushed
1 T butter
3 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium apple, pared, cored, chopped (optional)
5 cups Northern beans (rehydrated, if using dried)
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Hot water to cover
6 ozs Fontina cheese, finely-shredded
3 ozs Parmesan cheese, finely-shredded
Polenta, baked and cut in rounds or strips (recipe below)
Preheat solar oven to 225F Covered casserole
1. Over medium heat, saute onions in melted butter and olive oil, add chopped apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, red pepper, salt, black pepper; mix thoroughly, pour into 3-quart saucepan; add beans, stir to blend; add water to cover beans at least an inch; cover and bring to boil, cook for five minutes.
2. Place in solar oven for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Cut polenta into rounds, combine cheeses and lightly sprinkle 1 T of cheese mixture over polenta, top with 3/4 cups fagiolata. Serve with a fresh salad and crusty bread.
Easy-Peasy Solar Baked Polenta
3/4 cup ground corn meal
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups water/chicken stock
1 T butter
Preheat solar oven to 225F. 2-quart casserole
1. Grease casserole with butter, bring water/stock to rolling boil; remove 1 cup water and mix with corn meal, salt, and butter, in small bowl. Carefully pour boiling liquid into casserole, then, slowly add corn mixture to water, stirring with whisk to thoroughly blend.
2. Cover and place in solar oven for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and chill in refrigerator for approximately two hours. Slice into rounds/strips to bake, fry, or broil.
To serve with fagiolata, place on baking sheet and sprinkle with melted butter; bake for 20 minutes. Remove when cheeses are melted; top with fagiolata.
The oven was at 250F by 8:20 AM.
and I had separated the Polenta (cubed) and Fagiolata into two separate tinfoil casseroles. Samples were ready by 10:00 AM.