Saturday, April 3, 2010

Super Easy Solar Pasta Fagioli

If you can find two tall, skinny, light weight, dark, metal pots that fit side by side in the Sun Oven snatch them up. I find this much more practical than stacking two pots when you want to cook two things at the same time. I found mine in a thrift store so unfortunately I cannot steer you to a place to purchase them.

Pasta e fagioli is a perfect example of a dish where side by side cookware comes in handy. One pot contains half a pound of mayocoba beans that were soaked overnight, drained, and put in one pot with enough water to cover them by about two inches. In the second pot is olive oil, a finely chopped onion, two finely chopped carrots, two stalks of celery also finely chopped, a minced clove, a garlic, one tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, salt and a can of petite diced tomatoes.

I had a busy day today so I left the two pots simmering away in the Sun Oven while I went about my business. When I got home around three the beans were fully and the tomato base were fully cooked. I combined everything, including the bean's cooking liquid, into one large pot and put it back in the Sun Oven.

Now I had a dilemma. Do I finish the soup now or wait until after sundown and complete the soup on the stove? For a meal that was entirely solar cooked I'd have to puree some of the beans and add the pasta while the sun was still shining. That would have worked if we were planning on an early dinner but we still had quite a few things to do before we would eat. Cooking the pasta now to eat later was out of the question because it would have been soggy by the time we were ready to dine.

Of course I went for the better tasting option. When we were ready for dinner I pureed about two cups of the bean and vegetable mixture, returned it to the pot and brought everything to a boil - on the indoor electric stove. When the soup was boiling I added about one and a half cups of shell shaped pasta and cooked it for the time indicated on the package. When the pasta was ready, I removed the soup from the heat and seasoned it with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chopped rosemary, freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

That's all we had for dinner - well that and a glass of wine - and we ate all of it.


  1. A perfect combination of using both solar and electric cooking. That looks so yummy. I've found that using metal loaf pans also work very well so that I only occasionally stack my foods. Is this your recipe?

  2. I use camping pots, they're nice and small, usually dark anodized aluminum, excellent for soaking up sun energy and distributing it quickly. One is tall and skinny with a dark lid, sounds like just what you'd need.

  3. Miller's Surplus on 6th Ave in Tucson