January 27, 2014

Pinterest Tested: One Pot Pasta

With such a huge move to deal with, the Hubs and I have not been eating the same way we usually do… i.e., I've not had as much time to cook.

Despite the time constraints, I still wanted to eat delicious food that wasn't strictly from a box or can. Browsing Pinterest (one of my favorite pastimes!), produced a ton of results, many of them these new 'one pot wonders'.

I had to give it a try. 

I used several different pins, combining techniques and using what ingredients I had on hand. The beauty of these recipes is you can literally throw just about anything in the pot! I was inspired mainly by a recipe from Apron Strings… check the link for the original recipe, or use my tweaked version. 

I prefer using fresh ingredients where I can, instead of canned. Granted, this doesn't always happen, but I try. I began with one box of pasta (a flat linguine noodle this time, but you should be able to use any pasta. You may have to adjust your water content and cook time for thicker pastas). 

Place the pasta in a deep, wide skillet. To the pot, I added 2 small shallots (chopped), 1 large bunch of fresh basil (roughly chopped), 1 whole head of garlic (minced), and 2 packages of cherry tomatoes (halved). 

I opted for both red and yellow tomatoes here. Not just for the color, but also for the acidity level. Yellow tomatoes have a much lower acidity, so they can be especially nice for anyone who suffers from heartburn.  

Apron Strings used vegetable broth for the liquid base, but I didn't have any on hand. Instead, I used plain water, which worked great. In the future, I will probably try the veggie broth, but the pasta had plenty of flavor without it. 

Add 4.5 cups water (or broth) to your pot. Partway through heating, I added another ¼ cup of water... I like my pasta saucy. But you can leave yours the way it is, totally up to you. I also added a few dry herbs here as well, a sprinkle of oregano and an additional sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Fair warning, the red pepper definitely added some heat to this dish. If you don't like your meals too spicy, just leave this out. 

Sprinkle in a dash of salt as well, but don't get too heavy-handed. Remember: you can always add more later, but you can't take it away once it's in there. I also added two tablespoons of tomato paste, just to thicken my dish a bit more and bring out that tomatoey taste. 

Bring the pot to a boil. 

You can cover the pot if desired, but I didn't find this to be necessary. Frequently stir and turn your pasta to prevent sticking. I liked using my tongs for this recipe, they made stirring much easier! Boil about 8-10 minutes. 

The water will evaporate, and the starch from the pasta will start to form a sauce. The sauce isn't traditionally thick, so don't expect that. Once your pasta is al dente, and most of the water had evaporated, stir in ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine, until the cheese has melted and incorporated into your sauce.

Then, dish it up and enjoy!! 

The finished pasta

This meal was quick and easy, perfect for those busy weeknights. It's also great for using up all your leftover bits of vegetables too! There are so many add-in possibilities: spinach, bell pepper, broccoli, etc. I'm curious how this would taste with some seafood added to it, maybe shrimp. 

Have you tried a "one pot wonder" before? How did it turn out? Please feel free to comment below with your own experiences… 

I'll be back again soon with more Pinterest Tested. But until then, happy cooking!! 

Thanks for reading, everyone!
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The Standard Form:

One Pot Pasta

1 box of your favorite pasta
2 small shallots, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, minced
2 packages cherry tomatoes, halved (combination of red and yellow)
4 ¾ cup water (or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt, to taste
½ fresh grated Parmesan cheese


To a deep, wide skillet, add all the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir the Parmesan cheese into the pasta until well-combined. Serve with a side salad and garlic bread.

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