Recently, I came across some recipes for One Pot Pasta's. They look easy and fast, so I decided to vaguely follow one of them, adding a bit of my own touches. Here's what I came up with!
For my creation, I used basil, some cut up grape tomato’s (cherry or any other kind would work well too), some roughly chopped roasted red peppers from a jar, and 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic.
Basically, you just throw all this stuff in a pot, and boil it with water and spices. I’ll admit to being a little confused about how these ingredients would behave being boiled, especially the basil and garlic. But I decided to just go with it and see what happened. Normally, this recipe calls for linguine. All I had was thin spaghetti, so I used that.
After it’s all cut up, you just toss it into the pot with about 4 ½ cups of water (that is if you’re using 12 oz of linguine and not ½ a box of thin spaghetti like I did), salt, lots of black pepper and a good tsp. of crushed reds. And you let it boil at a rolling boil, turning the pasta 1-2 times, until the pasta is al dente (usually 9 minutes if you’re using linguine, less for my thin spaghetti), and most of the water has evaporated. Take it off the heat, let it cool and thicken a bit, and then you’re supposed to be able to just serve it up, with some parmesan cheese and torn basil pieces if you want.
Though I like the concept of this, I made some mistakes and it really turned out just so-so as a result. Here are my gripes:
-The *sauce* was too watery
-It was kind of bland
-The pasta got lost
Here are the mistakes I made:
-I used too much water for my frail, half box of thin spaghetti. I should have used 2.5-3 cups instead of 4. Even though I poured a lot of the cooking water out when it was done, it was still more water than I needed.
-The pasta matters. A thicker pasta – even a regular spaghetti – would have been much better.
-It needed more flavor. This may be my own preference, since I like strong flavors. Seriously. Adding water to things skeeves me out, unless it's tea.Water just…waters things down. Anytime a recipe calls for water, I'll use a broth of some kind instead if I can. This wouldn’t apply here, but next time I will need to add some very concentrated flavors to the water to keep it from dampening the whole thing. (Amore pastes come to mind – or a nice strong pesto.) This especially applies because imparting distinct flavor into something within 10 minutes is tough.
-I only used 1/3 of the jar of roasted red peppers. I should have just used the whole thing.
Things I did right:
-Thinly slicing the garlic was better than mincing it. You could press it too.
-It was nice and peppery because I use lots of black pepper
-I added brie at the end while it cooled. It didn’t give the full effect I wished for, but it did help.
The cool thing about this method is that you could throw any number of things you want in there. You could use a tall pot, or a large skillet. Isn’t it considered some major foodie rule to cook/finish your pasta right in the sauce? This is pretty much that. I will have to experiment more to get the flavors down. I discovered that the things I used kind of disappear/wither down when boiled. So next time...more more more.
Have you ever tried any sort of one-pot cooking method?