The other day, I came across a basic formula for making one pot pasta. I'd never done anything like that so I tried it for dinner and it worked so well. Using only one pot to cook dinner meant clean up was so much easier.
I chose to make the pasta because I'm waiting for my fresh produce to arrive later this week. I'll describe what I did to make my dinner.
The first thing I did was to grab a handful of dried mushrooms and reconstituted them in 2 1/4 cups of hot water. Once they were soft, I pulled them out, cut them up and threw them back into the mushroom water with onions, garlic, basil pesto and tomato paste along with 8 ounces of whole grain macaroni.
I put it over medium heat for 15 minutes until the liquid was almost absorbed, pulled the pan off the burner, and let it sit on the stove top for about 15 more minutes until the liquid was fully absorbed. The last thing I did was throw a bit of grated Parmesan on top and I had a lovely meal.
The great thing about this formula is the ratio of pasta to liquid is 8 ounces to 2 1/4 cups. The liquid could be water but it could be a combination of water and beer or wine or even stock or broth for a more flavorful base. This is where you'd add tomato sauce or paste if you prefer a tomato flavor.
To the liquid you need to add the pasta, spices, some sort of protein like chicken, tofu, beans, but not the cheese. That comes later. You'd also add any veggies you want such as mushrooms, eggplants, peppers, etc at the beginning. Put a tight fitting lid on the pot, put it over medium heat so it doesn't boil over and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the pasta is tender with a bit of liquid left in the pot.
If you want to add cheese, this is when you would add it with some heavy cream for a smoother mac and cheese or broccoli and cheese type of pasta. I would recommend you cut the meat into small pieces if you want it to cook properly or use left over meat from the night before.
I didn't need an instant pot, or a slow cooker. I just used one of my regular pots with a tight fitting lid and it worked properly. This is a dish I can make any night I have little time or I'm extremely tired. It made enough for me to have for lunch later in the week.
Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.