Try-a-New-Food Thursday: One-Pot Pasta

One time, in college, I was making dinner for some friends. I was distracted by socializing and cooking at the same time, or perhaps I was nervous about hosting dinner, or something, because I put the pot of water on to boil, dumped in the spaghetti, and then came back 8 minutes later to a pot of clumpy, sticky, slimy and yet uncooked pasta. I believe dinner ended with a box of mac’n’cheese that someone else took responsibility for preparing.

My desire to adhere to a “dump it all in together and cook” style of cooking is long-standing, then. This works really well with dump cakes, casseroles, and not much else. Recipes which require more than one mixing bowl don’t usually make it into my weekly repertoire. So you can image my delight when I saw this photo posted on a friend’s feed:

One Pot Pasta BEFORE

I had to investigate further. It looked like they had just dumped everything together into one pot…I hopped over to Apron Strings blog, and lo and behold, One-pot pasta! My dream come true! The recipe originally comes from Martha Stewart’s magazine, by the way.

So, I leapt in with both feet, making nothing else for dinner, not a single other dish, crossing my fingers that this would please kids and husband alike. Not that they are particularly picky. The kids, anyway.

Okay, so mine doesn’t look as pretty as theirs, but here it is, all prepped and pre-cooking:


As always, I made some tweaks to the recipe. Here is what I did:


Served 4 adults and 2 kids as an entree, with one serving left over (so, 7)

  • 16 ounces (1 box) Whole Wheat Spaghetti pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid 
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 8 large basil leaves, chopped
  • large handful of fresh parsley
  • 4 1/2 cups broth made from powdered chicken boullion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Break the pasta in half, and dump in a large stock pot. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and parsley. Pour in chicken broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes, oregano, and oil.

Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. 

It was so good. Really, it just worked–the broth boiled down into a nice sauce, the spices all worked together really well, and it was easy. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, as the kids say.


Try-a-New-Food Thursday: Mmm, breakfast!

Since I was up with the dawn this morning, I made this great French toast casserole recipe for breakfast. (Thanks, Paula Deen!)

Of course, I had to tweak. I did not let it sit overnight. I also do not do the topping. Too much work, and too much butter and sugar. This dish is delicious just add it is; no fancy topping necessary.


Disappearance of childhood

I thought this was a lovely post on the importance of letting childhood unfold slowly, rather than rushing through.

I love the emphasis on what we, as parents, choose for our children. I would add that these choices are not neutral, but express to our kids and ourselves what is valued in our home. I know that, for example, choosing to have the kids help me fold and put away their clothes is no where near the most efficient way to get the task done. There are tears most every time. But, what I hope this choice says to them is: we are all in this together. We are a family, and it is more fun to do it together. (Also: you are expected to be learning how to do these not-fun but necessary tasks of daily life so that you can, sooner rather than later, take over doing this without help.)