by Texas Homesteader ~
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Is there much better than homemade fresh tomato marinara sauce?? It offers that taste that you just can’t get from the store shelves. But it’s true that you have to simmer it a bit to thicken it up and intensify all those delightful flavors.
It’s hot & humid here in NE Texas and simmering a pan on the stove for that length of time just didn’t appeal to me at all. Luckily I didn’t have to, the solar oven did a fantastic job and all the cooking heat was left outside where it belongs!
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Several months back I bought my very first solar oven – I’m in LOVE! I’ve used it to cook bread and dehydrate garden veggies. But today I’m going to be using it to cook homemade fresh garden tomato marinara sauce.
All the recipes I’ve seen instruct you to cook your garden tomatoes for up to 3 hours to thicken the sauce. Let’s see if we can accomplish that outside in the solar oven instead.
Preparing Fresh Garden Tomatoes
I harvested all the bright red ripened fresh garden tomatoes from my garden and brought them inside. Then the tomatoes were washed, cored & halved. I threw them in the freezer overnight to freeze them.
Here’s a helpful shortcut, y’all – Did you know that you don’t have to boil the tomatoes to skin them? If you freeze them like I did, you can peel them much quicker and with no added heat of boiling water!
I simply pulled the tomatoes out of the freezer and allowed them to semi-thaw and pinched the skins & the skins slipped right off. Again NO HEAT ADDED TO THE HOUSE! (I’m seeing a trend here… HA!)
As you know frozen tomatoes tend to release some of their juice when they thaw. And the long simmer time for my marinara is to simmer off some of the liquid. So to shorten the simmering requirement I allowed the peeled tomatoes to drain for a bit. I saved the drained tomato juice for other uses.
Then I cut the tomatoes into chunks. I added a couple of cloves of minced garlic, some crushed dehydrated oregano from my garden.
And since I didn’t have any onions left in the garden I used the ones I dehydrated from the garden earlier.
About 1/2 bell pepper was chopped & I stirred it all together & placed in a black enameled pan and set it into my solar oven.
Solar Oven Cooking
The solar oven’s glass lid was left unlatched to allow the moisture to escape as the oven heated up. Of course I adjusted the oven toward the sun about every hour to help it track the sun across the sky. The Sun-Tracker Cube makes it easy for me to know when my oven is adjusted to the highest efficiency.
The temps inside the solar oven on this day stayed about 300 – 350 degrees.
*About My Solar Oven: For those of you asking, I have a Sun Oven brand solar oven and I LOVE IT! If you’ve been waiting to get a solar oven of your own – now’s the time!
By the end of the day I brought my homemade marinara inside, salted to taste and ladled it generously over al dente multicolored pasta.
There’s enough marinara sauce left over to enjoy it later in the week on my homemade meat-stuffed ravioli.
Yessireebob I love my solar oven! For those asking me which one I bought, I bought this *Sun Oven. I have nothing but good things to say about it. I’ve found it’s efficient, easy to use. I absolutely love it!
I enjoyed cooking up this delicious sauce without adding any heat in our living space. The thick flavorful sauce was delicious and really made our pasta dish shine!
Looking For More Solar-Cooking Recipes?
- Emergency Preparedness On The Homestead
- Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances
- Meatloaf In A Solar Oven
- Cheesy Chile-Chicken Casserole
- Boneless Breaded Pork Chops
- SW Chicken w/Seasoned Brown Rice
- BBQ Pork Sandwiches
- Pumpkin Bread
- Chunky Apple Cinnamon Bread
- Baking Bread In A Solar Oven
- Cooking Hard-Boiled Eggs In A Solar Oven
- Baking Potatoes In A Solar Oven
- Brewing Tea With The Sun
You can see our other SOLAR oven articles here
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I love that solar cooker. Your sauce looks yummy. Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty. See you again next week.
And no long-term simmering in the house Sahana so it worked beautifully for us.
I was talking to my husband about this, beacause I feel like this is something everyone should have. It’s a great post and love that you shared.
Not gonna lie Vanessa, I do love the solar oven!
That solar cooker is amazing – Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner Link up.
I’m so intrigured by this solar oven. And that marinara sauce looks amazing! Thanks for sharing at the #WasteLessWednesday Blog Hop!
I certainly love my solar oven Katy. Especially during the heat & humidity of our typical summers.
I guess it would work for me from maybe late June to late August, but after that the sun angle isn’t high enough to get enough warmth, plus the rest of the year has too many clouds and rain. I have naturally air dried some herbs and kale to store for winter though by hanging them up to dry. – Maryg
I’m pretty fortunate to live in NE Texas Margy – Although it’s cold it’s often still sunny so I use my solar oven even in wintertime.
Nice thing about that solar oven; it should have no problem cooking with it in this Texas heat.
I was out digging up irises and finally had to quit. It’s hot out there. After getting stung by 2 wasps and getting into a fire ant hill I figured it was time to call it quits for the day.
Well, I’m going to have to get a solar oven!
I know I love mine Julie!
I have been following your articles about using a solar oven. I would love for you to write an article about how you set up and actually use the oven. I am very interested in purchasing one myself and would like to hear thoughts and comments from you.
I love my solar oven Taryn but although I’ve done several posts on recipes I’ve used the oven for, I’ve never done an article on its actual use. That’s a great idea! Keep an eye out for an article soon.
Living right next door in Louisiana I should get one. How long does it take to heat up? Do you have to wait for it to heat up? Thanks for sharing.
I love my solar oven Joyce. The oven heats up remarkably quickly – especially on a sunny cloudless day (seems we have LOTS of those!) I don’t always wait for it to heat up – if I’m making a casserole or main dish I’ll just pop the filled cookware in and let it get started. The only time I allow a pre-heat is if I’m baking bread in it or something like that. Most times for the things I cook there’s no need for a pre-heat.
Hi Tammy! I’ve had my Sun Oven outside twice this week! The sun is perfect for cooking here in Alabama, this time of year! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!
The Sun Oven is a wonderful thing, eh Felicia? Love it! And you can keep that cooking heat outside where it belongs. 🙂
I love my solar oven too. It’s so hot here in AZ that I can’t bear to have the oven on in the daytime in the summer so out it goes, either in the solar oven or the crock pot on the porch. We’ve had some killer roasts and pork chops w/veggies (in another pot so one wasn’t too overloaded.
Susan – Me too! I like to keep the cooking heat outside during the summertime, inside during winter. Crackpots and toaster ovens on the back porch is a common occurrence here, as well as the solar oven.
I just checked your link they won’t ship out here hopefully I can get something here, I’ve decided that’s my Next birthday present. Sun oven, awesome!
I read a book about solar cooking awhile back but didn’t think much of it afterwards because it looked difficult to implement. Love seeing someone use it and make it look easier!
That is so cool! I’ve been hearing more about solar cooking but haven’t tried it yet. I’m thinking maybe my husband can make a solar dehydrator to try out first 😉 My birthday is in July…it’d be perfect!
Catherine – (chanting…) Do it! Do it! Do it! LOL
I too have a solor oven. I use it on our 32 foot live aboard sailboat. I have made bread and cooked chicken in it. You have to stay focused on it to make the dishes good. I would like to link with others who use the solar over (exactly the same as yours) for information and cooking ideas. Thanks.
Barbara – solar cooking is addictive! I’ve really been giving my oven a workout for the last several weeks and I love it. ~TxH~
That solar oven is so neat! Yummy looking sauce too 🙂 found you from More the Merrier Mondays!
Thanks Ali – I love, love, LOVE my solar oven! So glad you stopped by… ~TxH~