Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One pot pasta

I've been seeing pictures flying around facebook and pinterest of all these veggies and noodles in one pot, ready to go. A quick dinner recipe that is going viral. Even our travel agent was telling us to make it.  So last night, with no clue what to make for dinner I thought, why not!?

I got my original recipe here. But, clearly I am not the greatest recipe follower, as I ran into some hiccups. Nevertheless, this pasta came out really delicious. Since everything cooks together, the starch that leeches out of the pasta isn't rinsed away like it normally would when you make pasta and it mixes with the broth and creates a creamy-like sauce.   This is a super tasty, easy recipe for dinner tonight, or whenever.

What you need:

  • 1 package fettuccini or spaghetti
  • Chopped up vegetables - how much you use depends on how much you have. I used two chopped tomatoes (it could have had more) and one large chopped up zucchini (this came out amazing in the pasta, FYI). I also used a whole white onion and two cracked cloves of garlic. You can try different summer squashes, fresh basil leaves, etc. Whatever you think will taste good, and that will cook in about the same amount of time as the pasta.
  • Spices for flavor - I used oregano, but you can also add Italian Seasoning, dried basil, crushed peppers.
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Vegetable broth - the original recipe calls for 4 1/2 cups, I think you need to use just enough to cover everything in your pot. I think 5 cups would have been good for mine. 
How to make it:

I was gearing up to take a picture, so I placed everything strategically in the pot so you could see what I had in there. But I sort of think it's a good idea to place all your ingredients in the pot this way, just to make sure you don't have SO much stuff that you're going to have overcrowding and risk under cooking. 

So add everything into your pot: the pasta, the veggies, then cover it just enough with the vegetable broth so that you can see everything nicely still, but it's all going to be covered and cooked evenly. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and season with your spices. 

Place the pot on medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently (every 2 minutes or so). This is a crucial part and one I didn't read until it was almost too late. Because you are working with less liquid than when you're making pasta regularly, you need to stir frequently to prevent sticking and to make sure everything gets evenly distributed in the broth. 

Once boiling, drop down to medium low heat and allow it to simmer about 10 minutes (still stirring!), until there is just a small amount of liquid left in the bottom. The original recipe says to cook it out completely, but then your pasta gets sticky/dry, so cook until there is about 1 inch of liquid left in the pan.   

Season again with salt and pepper to taste and mix together well, distributing all the liquid throughout. 

We topped ours off with some grilled chicken breast and Parmesan...delish!