There are many reasons I started this blog. Creative outlet, a bunch of yummy recipes at my finger tips, but one of the main reasons is I’m super passionate about getting people to create and eat amazing food that is still simple to do. (But good enough for a Chef to eat ;)) Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with how hard it is to get the family around the dinner table, due to everyone’s busy schedules, or lack of time to cook. I try my best, but I fall short.
Late last year, The Chef and I decided dinner time was too important to let it slip by, and having our son be accompanied by us, instead of staring at the T.V. It was there that I discovered the saving grace: One Pot Pasta dishes.
It first popped up on my newsfeed on Facebook. Martha Stewart hitting us once again with a mind-blowing product. I looked past it for many weeks, but it kept. showing. up! Eventually, I fell for the presumed click bait, only to end up having my mouth watering, and a pot full of veggies, seasonings, and pasta simmering minutes later.
Guys, I only had one cutting board, one knife, and one pot dirty!! And it was all done in, I’m not exaggerating, minutes. I couldn’t believe it. But the biggest test was The Chef. Ironically, he isn’t a huge pasta eater. I mean he’ll eat it, and enjoys it for the most part, but it’s not his favorite. He finished the WHOLE plate! If you’ve ever seen him, it wouldn’t surprise you that he doesn’t usually finish his entire plate. He has what I call LBS. Last Bite Syndrome. No matter what it is, he will more than likely leave at least a bite on his plate. I don’t know why. No. I do know why. He becomes Mr. Chatty Cathy at the dinner table, and lets his stomach properly fill up, unlike me who shovels it in fear to finish the food before the tummy odometer reads “full”. I end up in a food coma the rest of the night, while he comfortable sits with his top button on his pants still closed. Whatever.
Back to the amazing pasta dish.
After the first pasta pot, my brain kept clicking with ideas of what else I could try to make it versatile. When you don’t know what time the hubby is going to be home, or you know you have another outing to get to, having a good 20 minute dinner in your back pocket (that’s not pizza rolls and cereal) keeps you at your A game. And I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS have veggies that are about to go bad that I can just throw in to help mix it up. Gosh it’s great.
For this pasta dish, ok, I kind of winged it. Boy, am I glad I did. This might be my favorite yet. As I was making it, I called The Chef asking where the broccoli was. He said he used it. *eye roll* Big surprise. I just started blindly grabbing things.
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 6 small tomatoes
- 1 cup of brussels sprouts
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 Tbsp of oil of choice (EVOO, Veggie oil, coconut oil, etc. will all work)
- 4 cups chicken broth (or water will work if you're out, just add extra seasonings to boost the flavor)
- 2 tsp salt (or more depending on taste preference, can be added in later)
- 1/2-1 tsp pepper (")
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (1/4 tsp dried thyme)
- 1 package of pasta (1 lb)
- 1/2- 1 squeezed lemon (again depending on preference. I like a big POW, but some people not so much.)
- 3/4 cup of crumbled feta
- Lemon zest for garnish
- Dice onions, slice garlic (do not mince), rough chop tomatoes, and half or quarter brussels sprouts (depending on size). Add to large pot big enough to cover and cook the pasta in the liquid. Add in oil, chicken broth, pasta, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook on medium heat and bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly soaked in to pasta, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it cooks and you stir it into the pasta, mixing with the starch of the pasta.
- Once cooked, squeeze in the lemon and sprinkle in feta. Add more seasonings if needed. Plate and add lemon zest on top for garnish. Even though it's a garnish, it adds a ton of flavor, so don't skip it.
- You can completely omit the feta and have it be a vegan dish. The lemon and other flavorings still give it plenty of flavor, the feta is just great with it too. But you can wait to add it on until you plate if there is someone who would prefer no cheese.
There’s so many things you can do. It’s crazy. I think you guys should go try this one, and then go try different variations, and tell me all about it. K? K. Deal.
I’m so glad for leftovers and microwaves. I think you know what I’m going to go do.