Friends, this pasta is sort of life changing. At least, it is for me. Maybe I need some more excitement in my life… But when I tried this pasta technique, and then took that first bite, whoa. I have found my new, go-to pasta. A super easy but super tasty pasta dish is something I’ve always wanted to master. My grandmother is the expert at this. Sometimes, my family would call her on the way to her house (or, you know, just show up… we’re like that). Somehow, with no advance warning or trip to the grocery store and seemingly little stress, this virtuoso grandmother of mine would put a huge, steaming dish of pasta on the table. It always tasted like the best thing I’d ever eaten. And I would think to myself, “I want to cook like that someday.”
I wouldn’t say I’m there yet. But this is a step in the right direction (the first step was mastering her perfect blueberry muffin recipe). And it’s a great improvement on my old go-to pasta, which was basically just cooking (okay, microwaving) it in chicken broth to make a noodle soup. Not so wonderful. This is just as fast, and way more delicious. You just throw everything in a skillet, and it all cooks together. Seriously. Pasta, vegetables, garlic, spices, water, everything. No boiling water, waiting for pasta to cook, straining it, cooking the vegetables in a separate pan, tossing it all together in another bowl. Your dishwasher will thank you (Forrest, you’re welcome).
The key, here, is to use a relatively shallow skillet. For this one serving, I used a medium sized frying pan. This way, the liquid can cover all of the pasta. Then you just let it bubble away until the pasta is al dente, the vegetables are tender, and the liquid has absorbed. For more servings (as leftovers or to share… Or just because it was one of “those” days and you need some more pasta!), just keep the pasta to liquid ratio the same: 1 to 3. Invite some friends, and impress them with what a relaxed, put-together chef and host(ess) you are. Bonus points for serving with red wine!
- 1/2 cup whole wheat penne (dry)
- 5 to 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1/2 pepper, diced
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- small handful spinach
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (can substitute water if desired)
- parmesan cheese, if desired
- Combine all ingredients except cheese in a medium skillet.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Cook until pasta is al dente and water is absorbed, about 9 minutes.
- Serve topped with extra red pepper and parmesan cheese, if desired.
- This recipe is easily adapted or made for more than one person. Use whatever ingredients you like. If you want to make this for more people, or make a larger serving, just make sure to keep the pasta to water ration the same (1:3).