One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta Recipe

One Pot Pasta BEFORE

One Pot Wonder Pasta – BEFORE

Once in awhile a dish comes along and stuns you and makes you rethink the way you cook. This miracle throw-everything-in-a-pot pasta dish has done that for me.

You literally throw in all the ingredients for this dish – including the uncooked pasta – and then Flame On! You cook it all together and DO NOT DRAIN the pasta. You just cook it up and starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along  with the pasta. The tastes and textures of this dish are shockingly good. And the “sauce” made by the starch from the pasta combining with the reduced vegetable broth is truly remarkable.

I started with the idea from a photo I saw in this months’s Martha Stewart Living magazine, but I added some things to make this recipe my own and that I think make the dish even better: some crumbled oregano leaves and a little olive oil for richness. And Oh Yes! – I used vegetable broth, not water and salt as called for in the recipe. I used regular vegetable broth, not a low-sodium version, and this was the perfect seasoning for the pasta.

I was so nervous about cooking the linguine right with the other ingredients, but I took a leap of faith. This dish is a revelation, and I’ll make it again and again.

NOTE: This recipe and new technique just scream out for experimentation by passionate cooks, so please feel free to tweak as desired, and come back and let us know your favorite version(s)!

Happy Meatless Monday, all!

One Pot Pasta AFTER

One Pot Wonder Pasta – AFTER

— posted by Donna

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Meatless Monday: Hip Hip Hooray for Mario Batali! – and featuring his fabulous Broccoli Rabe Pesto, budget-friendly style

Iron Chef Mario Batali’s rock-star signature dishes often include meat-lover’s ingredients like veal shanks and bone marrow. Needless to say, we were surprised and thrilled at the announcement that Chef Batali is going meatless on Mondays!

“The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet,” said Batali. “Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn’t a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet. That’s why I’m such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement!” Batali announced last week that he will feature several vegetarian entrees in all his restaurants on Mondays.

To applaud his efforts, I made up a huge batch of his Broccoli Rabe Pesto and tossed it with orchiette pasta.

I have never eaten broccoli rabe, and have never seen it in my local grocery stores. I understand the taste is similar to broccoli with a more bitter taste. I als0 understand it is very expensive. I made a more budget-friendly version by using regular broccoli with some Balsamic vinegar to give it some tang.

For this recipe I also substituted toasted walnuts for the pine nuts to save money and discovered that broccoli and walnuts are a fabulous flavor combination. As Chef Batali would say: “Perfecto!”

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