The past few weeks have been cold and rainy here in Southern California, so when the sun made an appearance the other day I was ready for some solar cooked grub.

The days are still short, so something that could be finished up on the stove, and served hot at dinnertime, seemed like the way to go.

This is one of the few pasta dishes that, in my opinion, is better with whole wheat pasta.

Sun Oven Chickpea Pasta Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 white onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 sprig rosemary

1 whole dried hot red pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas

10 ounces whole wheat pasta such as shells, fusilli, or cavatappi

2 teaspoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large pot, combine the oil, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, and hot pepper.

Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the vegetables soften, about 2o minutes. Stir in one can of the chickpeas with its liquid.

Drain the second can of chickpeas and stir them in too. Cover and continue cooking in the Sun Oven until heated through and the flavors have blended, about 1 hour.

Remove from Sun Oven, discard the rosemary and hot pepper,  and transfer to the stove over medium-low heat.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Drain the pasta when it is slightly undercooked, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Stir the pasta into the pot with the chickpeas.

Continue cooking, stirring often and adding cooking water as needed, until the pasta is fully cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter. Season to to taste with salt and pepper. Dust with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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