Tips for A Great One Pot Pasta

ONE POT PASTA (3)

Whoever likes a flexible meal, which yields less dishes and is ready in a cinch (about 20-30 minutes), raise your hand. Now that all your hands are raised, let’s talk one pot pasta!

Have you ever heard of this trend? One pot pasta is basically an all-in-one pasta dish in which components thereof are cooked together, and which requires no draining. Not draining the pasta means that the starch that usually ends up in the water makes its way into the end product, adding a slightly sweet and gummy aspect to the pasta. It’s a fantastic “invention”, and a little bit of a revolution, to be honest.

One pot pasta is a great weeknight meal and is a world of possibilities.

If you’d like to try your hand at it, here are a few tips:

  • It’s better to start off with less broth (or water) and progressively add more, as opposed to having your pasta swimming in excess liquid. Know that the less water you add, the more al dente your pasta will be.
  • Remember that different vegetables have different cooking times. For instance, some vegetables have veeerrrry looooong cooking times, like carrots, Brussels sprouts, beets and Jerusalem artichokes. Stick to vegetables that cook relatively quickly like asparagus, zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
  • For flavouring, try flavoured oils, citrus zests and fresh or dried herbs. Obviously, using vegetable broth for cooking gives your dish way more taste than if you cook it in plain water. You could also add some wine prior to cooking for a little oomph.
  • Use a broad and heavy cooking vessel. You want the pasta to be fully immersed in the liquid, and once the whole shebang comes to a boil, you don’t want the water overflowing, so make sure there’s tons of room in there.
  • Shower that pasta with your love and attention. Though I did say this recipe was easy and quick, don’t just walk away from the pasta figuring it will cook itself to perfection in that 20 minute window. You will want to stir often, to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of your pan.
  • This works best with smaller noodles like macaroni, penne, fusilli, orecchiette, etc. If you are using longer pasta like spaghetti or linguini, I suggest snapping it in half  before cooking to make sure all the pasta is completely submerged in the liquid.
  • This recipe works best with dry pasta. I don’t recommend using fresh pasta for one pot pasta. The results will be mushy and lack structure – no bueno!

My personal and first shot at “one pot pasta” contained the following example ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag of whole-wheat bow tie pasta (about 250 grams of whole-wheat pasta)
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 can sliced black olives, rinsed
  • 1 can tomato chunks
  • 1 can artichokes, chopped
  • Handful fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Roughly 3 cups organic veggie broth (+ a little extra I added towards the end), or an equal amount of water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Throw all ingredients and broth into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add lid and allow to cook thoroughly for about 20-30 minutes
  3. Plate, decorate with fresh herbs and serve!
  4. Yes, it’s that easy! 😉

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