One Pot Pasta

By now I’m sure that most of you reading this have seen those recipes floating around the internet and social media touting the benefits of “One Pot Pastas”, the “Wonderpots”, the “Meal to Make When You Just Don’t Have Time”. I have personally seen several of these recipes, and each time I saw one, I had my doubts. Then I started thinking about it from a culinary standpoint, and my “Chefbrain” took over. That’s when the doubts started to gain credibility. I mean, one of my favorite pasta dishes to make is an old Italian classic, Pasta Cacio E Pepe, which uses some of the pasta cooking water as a fairly important part of the recipe to form, bind, and thicken the sauce. Makes sense, right? Isn’t pasta starchy to begin with anyway? So the other night I decided to try this method and see just what happens. I mean if the Italians used this principle it must be good.
So I chopped a half a sweet onion, minced 4 cloves garlic, cut 6 Roma tomatoes into chunks, sliced 2 cups of button mushrooms, and tore up 6 leaves of fresh basil

20140526-183838-67118301.jpgI put a 14 ounce box of rotini pasta into a large sauce pot.

20140526-184053-67253293.jpgThen I dumped in the vegetables and herbs along with 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/3 cup olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt.

20140526-184331-67411102.jpgAnd stirred until everything was evenly mixed.

20140526-184425-67465171.jpg
Then I added 5 cups cold water, stirred thoroughly, and set the heat to high.
Bring to a boil, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking.

20140526-184506-67506578.jpgCook for 12-14 minutes or until the pasta reaches your preferred level of tenderness. Turn off the heat, stir the pasta and sauce together and let rest for 4 minutes.

20140526-184625-67585016.jpgI served mine topped with some grated Romano cheese and it was every bit as good as I hoped.

20140526-184743-67663423.jpgEasy, clean, fast, tasty, and the best part of it – All Natural! No unwanted, unnecessary, unwelcome chemicals, preservatives, etc. Try it, you’ll be glad you did. I will definitely make this again. And be adventurous – use any combination of flavors, herbs and vegetables that you want.
P.S. – The leftovers (if you are fortunate enough to have some left) are even better the next day! <— Hint–Good place to use some of that leftover steak butter, toss some in the pasta when reheating!
Cook. Eat. Repeat!

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