One-pot pasta is a bit of a mysterious wonder. All of the ingredients–dried pasta, veggies, seasonings–go into a big pot with what looks like an impossible amount of liquid. Everything’s brought to a boil, then you toss (and toss and toss) it in the pot while it bubbles away. It’s not unlike a stir-fry of sorts, in that it cooks quickly over high heat—with lots of hands-on time while it boils. But it takes very few minutes to go from raw to “dinner’s ready!”
And, what an awesome dinner it is. Suddenly, you have a glorious pot of perfect pasta with tender veggies and a scrumptious sauce. Magic, I’m telling you!
This version, One-Pot Peanut Sesame Noodles & Veggies, takes its cue from Asian influences — specifically the cold sesame noodle salad that most everyone knows and loves. We start with lots of veggies: onion, red bell pepper, carrots and bok choy.
Throw the veggies in a pot along with water, seasonings, and pasta. Dried linguine, by the way, is my go-to for one-pot pastas as it cooks up reliably within the (very specific!) 9-minute time frame and is sturdy enough to hold up to all the tossing that one-pot pastas need.
Aside from the veggies, this one-pot pasta gets its Asian flair from Tamari-style soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a good bit of brown sugar for sweetness and balance. And don’t forget the heat! This recipe calls for a modest amount of crushed red pepper flakes, but if you’re brave, throw in some more.
After you take it off the stove, you toss in a few handfuls of Napa cabbage along with a splash of rice vinegar. Then top with lots of cilantro, peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, maybe even a few scallions if you’re inclined. One pot, many ways!
This post was originally published on August 11, 2014.
*You can use regular, non-Tamari soy sauce, but because it is saltier than Tamari soy sauce, I suggest leaving the kosher salt out of the recipe and then adjusting seasonings to taste once cooked.
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