Thursday, February 4, 2010

One Pot Pasta

I was strolling the aisles of a local grocery yesterday trying to figure out what to make for dinner. It's a small store that specializes in fresh natural foods. I saw some great sweet Italian sausage and that triggered the taste buds. One Pot Pasta!

The original recipe came from my mother and it was called One Pot Spaghetti. The list of ingredients read like a Midwestern 1970's casserole with hamburger meat, cheddar cheese, and chili powder. Kind of a strange takeoff on an Italian meal. I've modified the recipe to suit our tastes, but the concept remains the same -- a quick dinner in one pot.

The ingredients are easy to find.

1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can water
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
2 crushed or chopped cloves garlic
1 packet spaghetti seasoning
Dry pasta of your choice
Grated parmesan or mixed Italian cheeses

When I shop for the ingredients, I usually pick up whatever's on sale. Yesterday I used a Private Selection (Safeway's private label) sphagetti sauce with basil and garlic, Italian style diced tomatoes with spices added, sweet Italian pork sausage, and a small package of penne rigata. I also make the recipe with chicken Italian sausage.

Brown the sausage, onions, garlic, and peppers in a large pot. Degrease and add 1/2 packet or more of the spaghetti seasoning. Dump in the jar of spaghetti sauce, can of tomatoes, and dry pasta. Then add a 14.5 oz can of water for extra moisture to help cook the pasta. Turn up the heat and you're cookin' with gas!

Cover the pot and stir it occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom. It usually takes around a half hour for the pasta to cook and all the sauce to meld. Last night, Craig was running late getting home, so I ended up adding a little more sauce from another jar in the fridge and some extra water.

The original recipe called for the cheese to be added into the pot, but we just garnish ours when it's served. I like the three cheese, parmesan, romano, and asiago variety, but any parmesan will do!

What I love about this recipe is that there really is just one pot to clean! No strainers, pasta pots, skillets, etc.... And with only two of us at home, we have leftovers for lunch or another dinner. (And I think the leftovers taste even better!)


Isla Deb said...

Looks delicious...will definitely give it a try! And I love your plate...could it be an antique store find?

Life's a Beach! said...

Deb, the plates are grocery store finds, but I've seen antique stores trying to pass them off as an antique pattern of Blue Willow (Churchill). I bought them in Seattle at Albertson's in the discounted dish of the month thing, and now Fry's is selling them here at 25% off. I need to get over there and get some replacements dishes while they still have them!

Bennie said...

This sounds really good.

Vee said...

Beck, I commented and asked if the china is Blue Willow. Where'd my comment go? Anyway, I used to collect Blue Willow a long time ago. Now I wish I still had it - lost it in a divorce.

Moongrl722 said...

Yummy! I will definitely try this. I think Jack will LOVE it and I love the one pot idea. thanks for sharing!!