I think I am late to the party. It seems like everyone has tried Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta. It's so simple that it seems impossible.
Thinking about it brought back memories of my first try at this idea when I was about nineteen and didn't do a lot of cooking. Why cook the pasta separately? I popped it into soup and wondered where the liquid had gone. It was a disaster! So you can imagine the chuckling when I heard about Martha's recipe. The key, of course, is to put in the correct amount of liquid so that most of it is absorbed by the pasta.
Martha's original recipe is here, for those who want to see it. I loved A Cozy Kitchen's idea of slicing zucchini very thin and adding it. I had fresh kale in the garden, so I threw in a handful of that, and I omitted onion altogether. We're big on garlic around here, so I added minced garlic, too, but I skipped the red pepper flakes of which we're not very fond.
I think I was too enthusiastic about this dish and turned on the timer too soon. After nine minutes, it was nowhere near done. A quick check of my pasta package showed that the normal cooking time was 11 minutes. Plus, I think you have to wait until it's in a full boil all over the pot before you start the timer. In any event, you'll see when it's ready. It will still appear to have too much liquid in it, but that's only because the boiling is churning it up. Test your pasta, and you'll know when it's ready.
The amazing thing is that the sauce thickens on its own. I imagine that's from the starch in the pasta.
What I love about this:
1. It doesn't taste like tomato sauce.
2. You can pop in whatever veggies you have on hand.
3. It's quick, quick, quick. A great weeknight dinner.
One Pot Pasta Dinner
based on Martha Stewart's recipe
12 ounces linguini
10.5 ounces cherry tomatoes (one container of Cherubs)
handful of fresh basil
handful of fresh kale or spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs or oregano (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 1/2 cups liquid (I used 2 cups chicken broth and 2 1/2 cups water)
Place the linguini flat on the bottom of a pan with high sides. Slice the zucchini into thin strips with a vegetable peeler. Add everything except the pepper and Parmesan. Bring to a boil. (I covered it to speed that up and removed the lid once it began to boil.) When it comes to a full boil, set the timer for 9 minutes. Turn often with tongs or a pasta spoon while it cooks. Try the pasta to see if it's ready. Salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
|Goodies from the garden. The cucumbers did not go into the pasta!|
|Everything goes into one pan, including the pasta!|
|Bring to a boil and keep turning the contents.|
|Look what a pretty color the sauce is!|