Easiest Entrees: One-Pot Pasta

Back when I was single and lived alone, one of my favorite super-quick meals-for-one was pasta and veggies.  I did it the simplest way possible—pasta cooked in salted water, add fresh veggies right into the boiling water on the tail end of the cooking time (usually broccoli and/or zucchini), strain, and toss with some olive oil, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese.  In the time it took to cook the pasta, dinner was done.  In addition to being yummy, there was only one pot to clean (and back then I didn’t have a dishwasher, so this was important).

Well, although now I’m cooking for four instead of one, I still love making different versions of this easy dish.  I also still hate washing pans, so the one-pot-meal concept is equally as appealing.  On a recent night I made a ridiculously easy meal that was met with enthusiasm by even my pickiest eater who proclaimed “this should go on the ‘favorite meal list’!”

By using some shortcuts like frozen cooked langostinos and good-quality jarred tomato sauce (my preferred brand is Victoria), you cut your prep time down substantially.  You can use any shape of pasta, any sauce, and whatever types of veggies you like.  I used shell-shaped pasta, pink vodka sauce, and a combination of zucchini and peas because it reminded me of one of the most delicious dishes I ate in Italy.  I added the langostinos for some protein, but shrimp is a great substitution if you can’t find langostinos.

 Pasta with Langostinos, Peas, and Zucchini

Everything boils in one pot!

 Serves 4
 1/2 lb dried pasta shells (or any other shape)

1 lb frozen cooked langostinos, defrosted and drained of any liquid

1 cup frozen peas

1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into quarters and sliced

1/2 of a 25 oz. jar prepared vodka sauce (or plain tomato sauce)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook several minutes until about 2/3 of the way cooked (it should be very al dente, but not hard).

Add the peas and zucchini right into the pot with the pasta.  Cook until pasta is desired consistency and veggies are cooked through (another 2-3 minutes). 

Drain into a colander and set aside.

Pour the sauce and langostinos into the pasta pot (now empty but still hot).  Allow the sauce to heat up slightly from the residual heat of the pan.  Add the cooked pasta/veggies from the colander and toss to combine. 

Serve hot with grated parmesan if desired.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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One Response to “Easiest Entrees: One-Pot Pasta”

  1. Ecover Shares a Home Cook’s Secret: Local, Seasonal Ingredients Make Food Healthier and Tastier Too! | Ecoverus Blog Says:

    […] recipe for One-Pot Pasta (shrimp, peas and zucchini) is truly a snap! And everything boils in one […]

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