Top Ate One Pot Wonder Pasta Recipes

June 5, 2014
Hello from my blogosphere! This post is super exciting! I say that every time, don't I? It's REALLY true this time. I love me some pasta. I quit pasta back when we did the cleanse and was fairly successful with not introducing it back into our diets. The cravings subsided and we learned to live without it. That is, until I started reading about the One Pot Wonders. Hey, a girl needs her pasta fix every once in a while, right?

A One Pot Wonder is a recipe in which all ingredients (raw and uncooked) are thrown into one deep sided skillet or saucepan with a precise measurement of liquid. Depending on the desired flavors, the liquids could include water, wine, broth, sauce or vinegar. The liquid is brought to a boil and cooks all the ingredients for about 10-15 minutes to create a saucy, creamy dish. These weeknight recipes are perfect for working parents because they are ready, from fridge to plate, in 30 minutes or less! And the best part....Your kids may even eat some of them! Now if that's not a reason to celebrate, I don't know what is.

At first, I was skeptical. I thought it was too good to be true. After surfing Pinterest incessantly, doing some extensive research, I gave it a go and was so pleased with the results. Because all the ingredients, including the pasta, cook together in one pot, the flavors blend incredibly well and the starchiness of the pasta creates a perfectly creamy sauce that will leave you craving seconds and thirdsIs this a good thing or a bad thing?

I was not the only skeptic. Typically when friends and family ask what I am working on, I get the "mmmmm!" or the "Oh, that sounds so good. I can't wait to see your pictures!" When I told people about the One Pot Wonder post, the response was not so typical. Almost universally, people said, "Really? Will that work?" with their noses crunched in mild disgust and eyes wide in disbelief. I knew what they were thinking; I thought the same thing! Would the dish be too starchy? Would the meat overcook or undercook? Would it turn to complete mush? These were legitimate questions!

Here are some general tips that will ensure a perfectly cooked, not too mushy One Pot Wonder result:
  • Rinse the uncooked pasta in cold water before putting it in the pot. It will remove some of the extra starch and keep the dish from getting mushy.
  • Play around with the types of liquid used. Water can be completely or partially replaced by broth, stock, red wine or white wine.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs after cooking to maximize the flavor that the herbs bring to the dish.
  • Grate cheese (where appropriate) over the dish after cooking but before removing from hot pan so it can be incorporated but not cooked.
  • Add peeled and deveined shrimp (or other seafood) to any One Pot Wonder about 2-3 minutes before the cooking process is done. This is just enough time to cook the shrimp fully without being chewy or overdone. The seafood should be raw yet thawed for optimal results.

One Pot Pasta: Tomato and Basil Spaghetti
One Pot Pasta: Tomato and Basil Spaghetti: The chopped artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives give this traditional dish a Mediterranean flair. This is a great meatless Monday option.
One Pot Pasta: Thai Peanut Butter Noodles
One Pot Pasta: Thai Peanut Butter Noodles: I was recently introduced to the idea of adding peanut butter to my pasta noodles by Anna. The creamy peanut butter, fresh veggies, grated ginger and salty Asian flavors all cook together in this life-altering dish. Anna has altered my life. Garnish with fresh torn cilantro and sesame seeds.
One Pot Pasta: Creamy Goat Cheese Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash and Walnuts
One Pot Pasta: Creamy Goat Cheese Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash and Walnuts: The creaminess of this dish is off the charts. Oh, I just thought of something....add bacon. YES!
One Pot Pasta: Chicken Rigatoni
One Pot Pasta: Chicken Rigatoni: I've boiled chicken. I've boiled pasta. Why have I never boiled them together in the same pot? Now I have and you should too!
One Pot Pasta: Chicken Taco Rotini
One Pot Pasta: Chicken Taco Rotini: I tacos. I am thrilled about the spice combination in this dish. Although they are super convenient, I am not a huge fan of the pre-packaged taco seasoning packets. They are SO salty and have ingredients that I cannot pronounce. So I made my own and added it to this dish!
One Pot Pasta: Buffalo Chicken
One Pot Pasta: Buffalo Chicken: My love for Buffalo Chicken ANYTHING has been well documented on the blog. See here. Use Marie's Blue Cheese Dressing and Frank's Red Hot Sauce to achieve optimal texture and flavor.
One Pot Pasta: Spaghetti Bolognese
One Pot Pasta: Spaghetti Bolognese: Using any combination of ground meat and/or sausage with some fresh veggies, you won't be disappointed at how quickly such a hearty meal is ready to eat!
One Pot Pasta: Pasta Puttanesca
One Pot Pasta: Pasta Puttanesca: Inspired by the original Pasta Puttanesca recipe, the pasta cooks up directly in the sauce creating a creamier texture with the same salty, nutty flavors. Yum-O!

1 comment:

Janine said...

I totally agree on how wonderful one pot meals are! My family's favorite is Italian Wonder Pot. It can be made as it or use beef broth and add browned hamburger (I always brown my hamburger before I freeze it, so it's already done).