I’d heard about the idea of one pot pasta a long time ago, but I never tried it until this winter.
That’s a regret, because one pot pasta turns out to have two really big things going for it.
First, the obvious: the end result is a compete meal in one bowl, with only one pot to wash later.
A big bonus for sure.
But there’s also one other cool thing that happens when you cook one pot pasta, kind of like magic…
…as the water in the recipe cooks down, it absorbs starch from the pasta.
So by the time the pasta is tender and al dente, the bit of water that’s left has become a rich, creamy sauce.
I love that this one pot pasta recipe seems really rich and creamy, yet is actually made with only water, fresh veggies, and olive oil!
So now I’m dreaming up lots of new combinations for one pot pasta in the coming months, but my first version is a vegetarian winter vegetable recipe with fresh kale and butternut squash.
These ingredients add plenty of flavor and a ton of nutrition too.
Per serving, this dish has:
- plenty of filling protein (17g)
- lots of detoxifying fiber (24% DV)
- a good amount of potassium (12%DV)
- and calcium (33%DV)
- tons of vitamin C (66% DV)
- and vitamin A (222% DV)
But the winter veggies also really bulk up the dish so it’s possible to have a nice big, creamy, heaping bowlful of pasta for only about 380 calories per serving!
Here is the complete, printable recipe for this one pot pasta dish:
- Serving size: 6
- Calories: 384
- Fat: 18.6g
- Saturated fat: 5.4g
- Carbohydrates: 40.5g
- Sugar: 2.5g
- Sodium: 484mg
- Fiber: 6.1g
- Protein: 17g
- Cholesterol: 46mg
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
- 4½ cups water
- 12 ounces whole wheat linguine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 16 ounces peeled and diced butternut squash, chopped into ¼-inch cubes
- 4 ounces kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1½ tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup parmesan, freshly grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Add the water to a stock pot or large, deep sauté pan. Add the linguine, garlic, shallot, squash (squash must be cut into ¼-inch cubes in order to cook as quickly as the pasta), kale, thyme, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon (ingredients may stick to the pan without frequent stirring).
- Cook until the pasta is al dente and nearly all of the water is absorbed (if most of the water is absorbed before the pasta is al dente, add additional hot water, about ½ cup at a time).
- Remove from heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, and stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving plates, topping each with handfuls of freshly grated parmesan.
And here are the step-by-step instructions for this one pot pasta:
Begin with all of these ingredients.
First, prepare the vegetables.
Start with a package of peeled and diced butternut squash (this saves so much time and work!).
Chop up the squash into small, quarter-inch pieces.
This is an important step, because if the diced squash is too big, it won’t cook as quickly as the pasta.
Next, grab a couple of cloves of garlic and mince them up.
Then grab a shallot and chop off both ends.
Cut it in half, end-to-end, and peel off the skin.
Then dice up the shallot.
Last, pile up plenty of fresh kale on your cutting board and run your knife through it in every direction, until the kale is chopped into bite-sized pieces.
Also grab a block of real parmesan cheese and a cheese grater and shred the parmesan.
Next, get everything into one big pot.
Then toss in some whole wheat linguine, along with the garlic, shallot, squash, and kale.
Also add some dried thyme for plenty of flavor and a bit of olive oil to help keep the ingredients from sticking.
And season it all with salt and pepper.
Then cook the one pot pasta.
Bring the water to a boil, then immediately reduce it to a simmer.
Be sure to continue to stir the ingredients often with a wooden spoon.
(This is a recipe that tends to stick to the bottom of the pan if you’re not careful about stirring!)
Cook until the pasta is al dente (tender but not too soft).
Just a small amount of water (now thick and creamy from the starch from the pasta) should remain in the pot.
There’s one problem that can pop up with one pot pasta, and here’s my easiest solution:
If you’re noticing that most of the water has been absorbed before the pasta is fully cooked, just add more hot water (hot water is best to keep from lowering the temperature in the pot) at about 1/2 cup at a time.
Last step: add two final key ingredients.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in some extra virgin olive oil to add lots of richness and flavor to the one pot pasta.
Taste the pasta, then season as needed with salt and pepper.
Then scoop the pasta onto serving plates, and top each one with plenty of the freshly grated parmesan!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the rich, thick, creamy sauce that’s created with the starchy cooking water alone!
It’s a cheesy, filling, tasty one pot pasta dish that happens to be healthy too.