One-pot pasta meals are ideal this spring

These popular dinners are not only quick and delicious, they require little clean up on busy evenings

One-pot meals have been around since the invention of pots, but their popularity has soared in recent years.

One-pot dishes are a simple and convenient way to get dinner on the table quickly without creating too much of a mess to clean up afterward.

After all, there’s no need to lug out a stockpot just to boil some pasta if you can do it right in your skillet.

From quick sheet-pan suppers to Dutch-oven masterpieces, there are many different methods of one-pot cooking to consider, but one-pot pastas are an almost ideal weeknight dinner — perfect for chilly nights but good also during the summer when you don’t want to overheat your kitchen.

These one-pot meals take advantage of a secret known by chefs and Italian grandmothers alike — if you add a ladle or two of the starchy pasta water to your sauce at the end of your cook time, it will become richer and have more body, giving you a more delicious meal.

Most one-pot pastas need just 15 or 20 minutes of simmering on the stovetop, making them a great meal for days when kids’ schoolwork, homework, sports and parents’ office work has you strapped for time.

Following are a few one-pot pasta recipes from marthastewart.com.

 

marthastewart.com

 

Skillet Shrimp and Orzo

 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups halved grape tomatoes

Coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

3/4 pound orzo

3-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

 

In a large broilerproof skillet, heat five teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook one minute, until just beginning to brown. Increase heat to high and add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook six minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add orzo and broth and bring to a simmer.

Cover, transfer to top rack of a 400-degree oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Toss shrimp with 1 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Remove skillet from oven and place shrimp on top of orzo.

Heat broiler. Broil four minutes, until shrimp are opaque throughout. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

 

 

 

One-Pan Creamy Tuna Pasta

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces cavatappi or other short spiral pasta

1-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup thinly sliced shallots

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

5 ounces baby arugula

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 4 teaspoons fresh juice

2 5-ounce cans oil-packed tuna, drained

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

 

Combine butter, pasta, broth, two cups water and shallots in a large straight-sided skillet or stockpot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and cook five minutes, stirring frequently, until very al dente.

Stir in asparagus and cook one to two minutes, until crisp-tender. Add arugula, Parmesan and lemon zest, then stir to combine. Fold in tuna and lemon juice. Serve immediately, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with more pepper and Parmesan.

If you want crunchy crumbs on top, toast 1-1/2 cups torn rustic bread in two tablespoons melted butter about three minutes, until crisp. Toss in 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle pasta with bread topping.

 

 

 

Lemony Pasta With Goat Cheese and Spinach

 

Salt

Pepper

3/4 pound spaghettini or spaghetti

4 ounces fresh goat cheese

10 ounces baby spinach

3 cups fresh parsley, chopped

2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

 

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve two cups pasta water, then drain.

In pot, stir together goat cheese and one cup pasta water over medium. Add pasta, spinach, parsley, cilantro, lemon zest and juice and more pasta water if necessary to create a light sauce that coats pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

 

 

Cheater’s Mac and Cheese

 

4 ounces short pasta, such as penne

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, optional

1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets

2-1/2 ounces cream cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, plus more for serving

 

Cook pasta in a pot of generously salted boiling water two minutes less than per package instructions. Reserve one cup pasta water and cover to keep warm. Add broccoli to pot and continue boiling one to two minutes, until pasta is al dente and broccoli is bright green. Drain.

Return pot to medium heat and add cream cheese, butter, and 2/3 cup reserved pasta water. Cook, stirring, until mixture is smooth and simmering. Remove from heat.

Stir in pasta, broccoli and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Toss with more pasta water as needed until sauce clings to pasta. Serve with more Parmigiano and black pepper.

 

 

 

 

One-Pot Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon

 

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 pound penne

1 pound broccoli, head cut into florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh juice

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook five minutes. Add broccoli and cook three to four minutes, until pasta is just under al dente and broccoli is crisp-tender and bright green. Drain, then return pasta and broccoli back to pot.

Toss with garlic, oil, lemon zest and juice and cheese. Serve topped with more cheese.

 

 

 

One-Pan Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Olives

 

12 ounces orecchiette

1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 6-inch sprig rosemary

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

Coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

2 cups baby arugula

 

Combine pasta, chickpeas, olives, tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, oil, pepper flakes and five cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-high heat 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and liquid is reduced to a sauce that coats pasta.

Remove skillet from heat, discard rosemary and stir in cheese. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin sauce if necessary.

Divide pasta and arugula among bowls. Serve immediately drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese and pepper flakes.

 

 

 

Pasta Alfredo With Lemon and Asparagus

 

3 large egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for serving, optional, and 1 tablespoon fresh juice

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

12 ounces linguine

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces

 

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cream, cheese, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until combined.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta two minutes less than per package instructions. Add asparagus and cook two minutes, until bright green and tender. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain.

Return pasta and asparagus to pot along with egg mixture. Toss until well combined, adding a few tablespoons of pasta water at a time until sauce coats pasta. Add lemon juice and season to taste.

Serve immediately with more cheese, pepper, and lemon zest.

 

 

 

Brothy Orzo and Pork Meatballs

 

1 small onion

12 ounces ground pork

1 large egg, beaten

1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2/3 cup orzo

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh dill sprigs

 

Grate onion, then squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Add pork, egg, fennel seeds, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. With dampened hands, roll mixture into 24 balls, each about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

In a medium pot, bring broth and one cup water to a boil. Add orzo and cook five minutes. Add meatballs, reduce heat to low, cover and cook six to seven minutes, stirring once, until cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste.

Serve with a drizzle of oil, more cheese, pepper, dill and lemon wedges.

 

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