Flash in the Pan Pasta

Pasta + veggies = one-pot hall of fame. As part of my blog birthday celebration, I’m sharing my favorite techniques collected over the past year. Time after time I’ve combined frozen veggies with pasta and beans from the cupboard, and in a pinch I have a healthy dinner for two. Sauces can be just as simple: olive oil, butter, fresh parmesan… or homemade pesto!

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Tonight it took less than 30 minutes to make spaghetti with broccoli and peas, plus pesto made from walnuts, spinach leaves, garlic and olive oil. Cheat sheet: Bring pasta to a boil. Meanwhile, add chopped walnuts to a food processor with a little olive oil, and pulse. Add garlic and pulse. Next add a handful of spinach leaves and blend well. Give it a taste test, and add salt and pepper if needed. After boiling the pasta to al dente, add the frozen veggies and continue boiling until just tender.

Here are some other ways to make an easy and healthy pasta dish all in one pot:

  • Homemade minestrone: Start by sauteeing chopped onion and sliced, cubed sausages; add 1/2 can diced tomatoes, 1 can white beans, chopped carrots and celery (and any other veggies of choice) and bring to boil. Add 1 container of chicken broth or homemade veggie broth; simmer all ingredients for 30 minutes. Add macaroni towards the end and bring to al dente. Serve over sourdough toast, with fresh parmesan.
  • Creamy pasta primavera: Boil spaghetti or any pasta of choice; add frozen peas towards the end of the boiling time (depends on when its near al dente). Meanwhile, microwave beans in a separate dish and dice 2-3 tomatoes. Drain pasta with lid, retaining pasta & peas mixture in same pot. Add warm beans and diced tomatoes; plus 1 tsp butter, a dash of oregano. Coat lighlty with olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Serve warm.
  • No talent ravioli: When all else fails, boil frozen ravioli and add butter, fresh herbs and drizzled olive oil to the pot after draining the water with the lid. Or, you can plate the ravioli first and drizzle desired ingredients on top.

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