Tuesday, July 16, 2013

One Pot Pasta - The Easy Way

I'll confess that when someone posted a photo and recipe on Facebook that involved throwing dry pasta, chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic and broth in a pot and boiling it all together to form a pasta with sauce dish, I was skeptical. But I was willing to try it. After all, in Ann's world, the less pots to clean, the better. I adore one-pot meals and make them whenever possible. So, despite my doubt, I was open to trying this one.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the right ingredients. So, I took the chance of using what I had: orzo for the pasta, chicken broth, veggies, some white wine....  The result? A winner! The pasta and vegetables were tender and well covered in a flavorful sauce - reminiscent of Risotto. Couldn't be easier.

One-Pot Pasta

  • 12 oz dry pasta (I used orzo)
  • 1 large head of Swiss Chard - stems sliced and leaves cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can of chick peas (undrained - use the liquid as well)
  • 2 large cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes in juice
  • 4-6 small carrots, sliced
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 32 oz broth (I used organic chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup or more of dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp high-quality olive oil
  • lemon juice
1. Pour dry pasta into a large pot. Throw in the rest of the vegetables, the crushed red pepper (I used a lot because we like it spicy), and sprinkle with lemon-pepper or black pepper and salt if desired (don't use too much salt because of the broth). Add the broth, wine and oil to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil (the Chard will start to shrink down).

2. Stir frequently and well. When the mix reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Stir every few minutes to ensure that the pasta isn't sticking.

3. When the liquid is almost gone and the pasta is tender (10 -15 minutes or longer, depending on the type of pasta), remove from heat. Stir in a tbsp or two of lemon juice to taste and serve in bowls.

Notes: This is what I call a "loosey-goosey" recipe, meaning that you can be flexible. More broth, less wine. Maybe some other liquid instead. Any sort of pasta will do, as will any sort of vegetables -- mix and match. Same with the seasonings. Try oregano and basil for an Italian flavor, or cilantro and chili for a Mexican one. Be creative!