Monday, August 5, 2013

One-pot Pasta Dinner

This is one of those meals that seems simple enough there doesn't need to be a recipe -- it's just pasta, broth and some extras, right?  But my goodness, it's amazing what happens in that pot while the simmering is going on.  There is nothing fancy about putting this dinner together, but sometimes a simple pasta dinner is what a busy day calls for, and this hit the spot.  I also happen to think the sauce is a little "fancy" just because it doesn't come out of a jar -- and I'll admit the addition of white wine in there may help the fancy factor out a little, too.

Literally, you throw it all in the pot, bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta.  Can't get better than that, huh?  Feel free to play around with the spices, type of canned tomatoes, and even throw some white beans in there at the last minute for a heartier dinner.  Next time, I'm adding some mushrooms!

One-pot Pasta Dinner
serves 6
  • 12 - 14 ounces whole wheat pasta - I like a shorter pasta, but long would work, too
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in thin strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup diced roasted red pepper (jarred variety)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 large sprigs basil, chopped OR 1 1/2 TBLS dried
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
  • 2 TBLS white wine (or more to taste)
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained (optional for more protein)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional) OR 1/4 cup, or to taste, nutritional yeast stirred in to the pot or sprinkled individually
  • salt and pepper to taste

--Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chopped red pepper in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle in the basil and oregano. 
--Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low, simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – leave an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot or reduce as desired. (Add beans here to warm through if using)
-- Add white wine and stir thouroughly
--Season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese if using, or nutritional yeast.


  1. Do you think this would be good without the tomatoes? (Adjusting the amount of liquid, of course.) I love pasta, and I need quick and simple things to make, but I can't eat tomatoes. I should probably add something else instead for more flavor, but I can't think what....

    1. I would think FOR SURE mushrooms, plus extra broth and white wine, with maybe some chopped artichoke hearts and the chopped red peppers.