Pinterest is a great way to lose a few hours, isn’t it? I find myself browsing pins for things I’m not even interested in, like bathroom decor and wedding decorations. Although to be fair, as you might expect, mostly I look at recipes. And food more generally. But mostly recipes.
Recently, I found myself browsing ‘one-pot’ pasta dishes. The general idea seems to be that you make a liquidy sauce, then chuck in the pasta (and possibly vegetables) and cook it in the sauce, in the same pot, hence ‘one-pot’. What could be easier?
On any given school night, easy is definitely the right adjective to describe our dinner, so I decided to give the one-pot method a go. But, since I’m new to the technique and wanted to maximise the chances of success, I used ptitim (Israeli giant couscous), as they cook quickly and in a known volume of liquid. I’m sure you could use orzo or any other small pasta shapes in this recipe for a very similar end result.
The sauce was gooey and creamy and extremely tasty, and the ptitim were just cooked without being mushy. Perfect! And as promised, the washing up was minimal!
I’ll certainly be trying this technique again, and now that I’ve got the basics, perhaps next time I’ll be brave enough to try with ‘big’ pasta shapes, or even spaghetti. I bet you could even finish this off in the oven to create a sort of baked-risotto/pasta-bake hybrid…
Grate over some cheese to make it extra yummy. Serves 3-4.
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- 2 medium onions
- 300g mixed mushrooms - white, chestnut, oyster, shiitake etc.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 100ml milk
- 100ml vegetable stock
- 150g ptitim (or similar small pasta such as orzo)
- 200g fresh spinach
- Salt & pepper
- Grated parmesan or similar hard cheese to serve (optional)
- Peel the onions and slice finely. Brush any dirt from the mushrooms and slice.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for around 5 minutes until soft and starting to brown.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 4-5 minutes.
- Pour in the milk and stock and bring to a simmer. Add the ptitim, stir well, cover and simmer over a very low heat for 8-10 minutes until the ptitim are just cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Place the spinach on top of the ptitim mixture, cover and allow to wilt for 1-2 minutes. Stir the spinach in.
- If the mixture looks slightly dry, moisten with a little extra milk or stock to achieve your desired level of gooeyness. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the grated parmesan.