Angel Hair & Meatballs

Earlier this week, it seemed like a good idea to see how much food I could get my Sun Bucket to cook. It didn’t disappoint. An entire box of angel hair pasta, 14 meatballs, and a pan of sauce from scratch. All that using nothing but free, sustainable energy.

The Sun Bucket started at 640°F (340 C).

As usual, when the Sun Bucket is blazing hot, a pot of water went on the cooking surface to boil. I put a lid on the pot while the 1.5 liters of water heated up – it did come to a boil faster, just under 9 minutes.

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I added a 14.5 oz box of angel hair to the boiling water and let it cook for 7  minutes until it was nice and al dente. While the pasta was cooking, I prepared the meatballs – 1 lb. ground chicken, 1/3 C breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1-2 T. of fresh grated parmesan, salt and pepper. When the pasta was off of the Sun Bucket, I put my big pan on and heated about 1 T. of olive oil. When that was hot and coating the bottom of the pan, I rolled the meatballs and placed them in the pan.

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I let the meatballs cook for 3-4 minutes, and them turned them to brown on the other side. After another couple of minutes, the meatballs were browned and mostly cooked through. I moved them to a bowl while I made the marinara. Using the same pan with all the nice browned bits from the meatballs, I added another teaspoon or two of olive oil and half of an onion, chopped. When the onion was translucent, after about two minutes, I added one 28-oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes, and a handful of chopped basil and flat leaf parsley.

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As the tomatoes cooked, I used my wooden spoon to break them down. I added some salt and pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. After simmering for approximately 8 minutes, I removed the pan from the heat, and put the Sun Bucket’s lid back on. The marinara in its current state was too chunky, so it was time for the food processor.

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When the sauce was smooth, I returned it to the pan, uncovered the Sun Bucket, and let it simmer for another few minutes. Once it was nice and bubbly, I added the meatballs back to the sauce and let them finish cooking.

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Another four or five minutes and it was time to eat! The sauce covered the meatballs and about half of the cooked pasta. The other half of the pasta we saved for other uses later in the week.

All said and done, the Sun Bucket was in use for approximately 50 minutes and cooked 2.2 kg of food for an approximate caloric value of 2700 calories.

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