Unless you hate pasta, you should try and make this: How to Make One-Pot Pasta With Practically Any Pasta – The New York Times. (If you do hate pasta, try it with a different noodle…udon, soba, what have you.)
Essentially you need to do 3 things:
- Cook some ingredients at the beginning to add flavour (e.g., garlic, onions, bacon, anchovies, tomato or harissa paste, sausages, celery, carrots, broccoli, red pepper flakes, chopped green peppers, , chopped tomatoes, dried herbs). Cook until softened.
- Add the pasta and water to the pan and cook until al dente. (See the recipe for guidelines.)
- Add anything else to make it better (e.g. chopped fresh herbs, chopped capers, chopped olives, salt and pepper, cream or butter, lots of grated cheese, lemon juice, splash of good vinegar, sesame seeds, soya sauce, sumac, olive oil, pasta water, spinach, whatever you have).
Go through your pantry, grab some things, toss them in accordingly, and dinner is done. If you are stuck, think of your favourite pizza and use the ingredients for that. (Ok, maybe not pineapple…but hey, you do you.)
A number of recipes I have seen call for 4.5-5 cups of water. I want to suggest going with 4 cups and holding a cup to the side. I found when I used 5 cups of water it was a bit watery by the time the pasta was al dente. It’s easier to add water later.
Adding grated cheese at end (e.g. parm) will make the sauce creamier. I like that.
Many of the recipes call for fresh herbs. I get that. But dried herbs, such as basil or oregano, can also be great.
P.S. This is a great recipe for cooks who depend too much on recipes and want to break out. You can try different things and in the worse case, you have some not so great pasta that costs a few bucks and took 15 minutes to make. Console yourself with ice cream.
P.S.S. If you are still cautious, check out the New York Times recipe and see specific recipe ideas. But try and experiment first. Worse case, use Martha Stewart’s One Pot Pasta and try it with her ingredients. Hers is good, but it’s best to make this dish your own. Call it: (Your first Name) (Your Last Name) One Pot Pasta. Tell everyone about it and become famous too.
P.S.S.S. Here’s another good recipe from the Food Network that is nice and creamy.