July 27, 2010

One-Pot Pasta with Vegetables

Serve it as a side-dish or as the main course...

Who likes washing oodles of pots and pans and cutting boards and kitchen gadgets after preparing (and enjoying eating) a meal? Even loading them all into a dishwasher is a time-consuming chore. I like this recipe because it involves minimal cleanup: everything is cooked and mixed in the same pot.
I also like this recipe because it combines two side-dishes into one, making it a more complex side or a simple main course.

It's just creamy enough to hold together and have a nice texture, but it's not gloppy--nor is it swimming in butter like many pasta dishes.  This is a light dish. It isn't heavy on, well, anything much except pasta. It's a tasty meal on it's own, it can be dressed up with added ingredients and flavors of your choosing, or it could be baked en casserole.

Cheese: The amount of cheese used in the dish can be altered to taste: a garnish of grated Parmesan or shredded mozzarella is a yummy addition.
Pasta: Any short pasta can be used (ideally a variety with nooks and crannies for the sauce to fill). Check the pasta's cooking time on the package's instructions, and add the frozen vegetables to the cooking pasta after about half of that time.
Vegetables: I used frozen sweet peas and frozen french-cut green beans. Other similar frozen vegetables would also do well in this recipe--use what you like the best. If the vegetables of choice are thicker than peas and green beans, however, you may need to add them earlier in the pasta's cooking time to allow them to cook fully.

One-Pot Pasta with Vegetables
Estimated time: 20 - 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 chicken, beef, or vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1/2 pound short pasta with crevices (I used mini wheels)
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas
  • 3 cups french-cut green beans
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheeses (like mozzarella or Romano)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • Salt 
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Add 1 bouillon cube, and stir to dissolve it.
3. While still boiling, add the pasta to the water. Cook for about 3 minutes (1/2 of the pasta's cooking time).
4. Stir in the frozen peas and french-cut green beans. Cook for about 6 more minutes (or the rest of the pasta's cooking time). The water may not return to a boil.
5. Drain the pasta and vegetables, and return them to the pot.
6. Stir in the shredded cheese, feta cheese, milk, oregano, onion powder, and dill weed. Stir the mixture thoroughly, heating it on very low heat if needed.
7. Season the mixture to suit your taste with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. 
8. Remove from stove. Serve as a side dish or as a main course, optionally garnished with extra grated or shredded cheese.


Enjoy!

3 comments:

Willow said...

I think I love you! I love easy, and simple, few, healthy ingredients. I detest recipes that claim to "One-Dish" when it takes 50 pots and pans before you actually put it in the "one dish". And, small world, I am friends with your husband's friend Debbi (she told me about your blog) since I have a blog too. wwwwordsfromwillow.com (don't use a dot after the www or it won't go). Looking forward to reading more and trying out some recipes. I'm also newly vegetarian, so need help in that area too.

Willow said...

OK, wait, I lied...you're married to the NEPHEW of a friend, of my friend. How's that for 6 degrees of separation?

abigail said...

Wow, that's pretty incredible! Thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you like my blog.
I know what you mean about "one-pot" recipes often not being literal. :)
Check back often--and let me know if you'd like to see a particular type of recipe.