Thursday, July 18, 2013

Skillet Pasta Primavera

Wow, this has probably been my longest blogging hiatus yet.  But between finding out at the last minute that we had to move ourselves (thanks, military...for nothing), actually driving halfway across the country, closing on our home, and then finding out the previous owners left the home really dirty (who does that?), blogging has taken a backseat.

However, the cooking continues since I did bring enough kitchen equipment with us in the move.   And thankfully, there are recipes like this skillet pasta.  This isn't so much a recipe as it is an incredibly simple method for cooking pasta.

I've always heard that you need a LOT of water for cooking pasta.  And since I just brought a non-stick skillet and a sauce pan, I clearly didn't have a pot big enough for that.  But Cook's Illustrated found a way to make pasta dishes truly one-dish meals.  Instead of cooking the pasta in a large pot of boiling water, you actually cook it in a 12-inch non-stick skillet.  And it tastes just the same! I added whatever vegetables I had on hand to make it a pasta primavera and topped it off with marinara sauce.  However, feel free to add any meats or vegetables you like.  I have serious doubts that I'll ever go back to the boiling water method!

Skillet Pasta Primavera
Method taken from: Cook's Illustrated
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 1/2 cups of water or chicken broth or a combination (I just used water)
  • 8 ounces (2 1/2 cups) penne pasta (I used bow-tie pasta so feel free to use any short pasta)
  • Any vegetables you like: I used about 4 ounces of baby spinach, leftover cooked broccoli, and frozen cut bell peppers and onions
  • For serving: grated Parmesan cheese (optional; I omitted), marinara sauce
  1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Simmer Penne: Stir in broth/w, water, penne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until penne is tender and liquid has thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.  Add additional water if needed until pasta is tender.
  3. Add vegetables and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with Parmesan and marinara sauce.


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