One-Pot Pasta

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Picture, if you would, the following scene: A toddler tugs impatiently at your leg, doing a semi-hop over and over, all the while letting out just that right pitch of shrill to grind what little nerves you might have had into powder.

Welcome to Monday night supper at my house.

Well, I should say, that was what Monday night supper used to be like until I found this gem of a recipe! To see the original, head on over to Mama Bake. Their version is a great bulk recipe that serves more than 15 portions. A bit of overkill for my family, so I’ve adjusted my version to meet my family’s tastes. My 6-8 portion version is below.

While I really enjoy the ease of this recipe, it does trade off a bit in the flavour department. To counteract this, when I have an extra few minutes, I’ll sweat the onions, mushrooms and peppers first, then throw everything else in.

For my picky eater (*cough* toddler *cough*) I actually blend everything except the pasta before I put it in the pot. The result is a smooth sauce with the pasta and all the veggies are disguised.

If you can plan ahead, the night before, chop up the veggies, otherwise the ol’ “throw-as-you-go” preparation method works fine (Add your ingredients into the pot as they’re ready and cover in between).

The key to this recipe is literally to cook everything together. No pre-cooking the pasta, no straining out the water. Just toss it all in and cook!

By now, you must be thinking: “Everything in one pot… Oh! The chaos!”. Don’t worry, it works out, I promise!

One-Pot Pasta Recipe

Makes 6-8 servings.

Cooks in 25 minutes, with 5 minutes of prep

Ingredients

  • 250g pasta (about 3 cups macaroni or rotini, or a loonie-sized amount of spaghetti)
  • 2+1/8 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomoato soup or a cup of pre-made/leftover pasta sauce
  • 1/2 Green Pepper, diced (about 1/4 cup frozen)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can mushrooms (or about a cup of fresh sliced mushrooms)
  • Seasonings (adjust to taste):
    • 1+1/2 Tablespoon dry Italian seasonsing (1+1/2 teaspoons dry basil, 1 teaspoon Oregano, 1/2 teaspoon Thyme)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder (or a dash of Cayenne if your family’s adventurous)
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Hardware

  • A large stew pot with lid (about 5L or 5 quarts). Trust me, you want the lid.
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife and cutting board (if chopping any fresh veggies)

Directions

  1. (optional) Chop your veggies before-hand if you can. Otherwise, carry on.

  2. Put everything except the pasta in the pot. Stir around the wet ingredients so they’re thoroughly combined. Notice that I didn’t do this in my featured picture. I had a little trouble getting it evenly mixed.

  3. Turn on the stove to medium-high (about 7/10).

  4. Stir in the pasta. When I use spaghetti, I find cracking it in half or quarters helps it all fit. Stir so all the pasta is covered in liquid.

  5. When the sauce is bubbling, stir and reduce to medium-low (about 4/10). Stir occasionally for 20 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.

  6. Relax for a few. Seriously. You deserve it!

  7. Optionally, serve with garlic bread and Parmesan cheese.

I hope this recipe adds some calm to your day. Enjoy!

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