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My Take on One Pot Pasta

I love how a dish will take off in the blogosphere and suddenly you wake one morning and everyone but you is making cake pops or boozy popsicles. This seems to be happening with this one pot pasta technique. Martha Stewart featured this simple pasta dish  this month and, once again, she has inspired the masses to go out and throw raw pasta with other stuff in a pot and just throw caution to the wind and do something that kind of goes against everything we all believe about cooking pasta.

I was a bit leery but then, the more I thought about it, it made sense. We use the starchy pasta water all the time to not only thin out sauces but to utilize the starch to make the sauce more cohesive and silky. It kind of serves as a binder so this could actually work and if it DOES actually work , it could revolutionize week night dinner. If we all know we can just throw all the crap we have sitting in the fridge in one pot and 10 or 12 minutes later we will have a complete, healthy dinner? There will be no reason to order pizza every again.

The first time I tried this, I followed someone else's recipe and I left the lid on the whole time and it resulted in way too much liquid at the end. I had to remove all of the solids with a big slotted spoon and boil the bejesus out of the liquid to reduce it until there was about an inch left in the pot. I then added the solids back in, gave it a toss and it was great. I then gave my recipe to a few people and let them test it for me and everyone had great success so we are now good to go. Even a friend who really doesn't cook at all, apart from grilled cheese and pasta with butter and cheese made it and said it made her feel like an Iron Chef . She used whatever mixed frozen vegetables she had and raw chicken. You can really use any combination of pasta, veg, greens and protein (if you want protein in there at all) and this is going to turn out. Just stay mindful of the cooking time of the pasta vs the cooking time of the various ingredients so that if you are going to use young asparagus or arugula, don't add those ingredients in until the dish is 3 or 4 minutes from being finished.

One Pot Pasta

adapted from Martha Stewart
serves 4-6 ( depending on how much you eat as a serving - as always, i don't judge)

approx 1 lb (453 g)  rotini1 10 liq oz (540ml) can PC olive oil and garlic tomatoes, with juice170 g broccolini1 lb frozen large zipperback shrimpfresh oregano and parsley4 tbls pesto2 cloves garlic, whole2 tbls extra virgin olive oil4 cups of chicken broth (if using non salted, add a good pinch of kosher salt)1/4 cup white winea few grinds of pepper freshly grated parmesan to serve

I used my big Le Creuset dutch oven but any big, deep pot will work. Put the dried pasta in the bottom and then add all of the other ingredients up to the broth on top of the pasta. Pour the broth and white wine over all of that, cover it and bring it to a boil.Now, remove the lid and let it simmer vigorously until the pasta is cooked.  You want to keep stirring it every couple of minutes until it's cooked to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and that the pasta doesn't stick together. If you use salted broth, you won't need to add any saltThis type of pasta took about 13 minutes. If, while it's cooking, it looks like you are going to run out of liquid, you can just add a bit of water or more broth and continue cooking.That's it. When the pasta is cooked, most of the liquid will have absorbed and/or evaporated and you will be left with a nice, lightly sauced pasta (the starch from the pasta makes the magic here). If you are NOT using frozen shrimp, wait and throw that in for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. 

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