While Michigan doesn't have the climate to sun dry tomatoes outdoors, you can pop them in your oven to dry. The payoff: Sweet and leathery tomato pieces that can be added to dishes like today's Spaghetti with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce.

Here's all you need to do:

Figure you'll need several pounds of fresh plum tomatoes. We used 13 plum tomatoes, which gave us about 1 cup of dried tomatoes.

Remove the stems from the tomatoes. Rinse them under cool water and pat dry. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Core them and remove the seeds.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes, skin side down, on the pan. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, with the rack in the center. Bake the tomatoes for about 8 to 10 hours for tomatoes about 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Smaller tomatoes will take less time; check after about 6 hours. The tomatoes will shrivel to small, flat, leathery pieces about 1 1/2 inches long.

Store the dried tomatoes in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Sun-dried tomatoes can be hard to slice with a knife because of their chewy texture. Scissors work best.



SPAGHETTI WITH CREAMY SUN-DRIED TOMATO SAUCE

Serves: 5 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 30 minutes

This recipe is a good source of fiber with 7 g per serving.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons real bacon bits

2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup fat-free half-and-half

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1/4 cup red wine