When a former cook from the Williams-Sonoma test kitchen offers us a recipe exclusive, we automatically accept. And when that dish happens to be a super simple, healthy one pot pasta recipe that anyone can make… well, call us happy campers. One pot pastas are the foolproof solution to cooking tasty, satisfying food without surrendering the rest of your night to dishes. They’re hearty enough to feed the family, simple enough to come together quickly, and above all, minimal on the dishes!
Summer comes around, and we have salads, ceviche, and even pizzas packing in all the colorful produce on our mind. But pasta? Perhaps not the first thing on your list of dishes to cook. A rich bolognese or creamy vodka sauce calls to mind winter comfort more so than a refreshingly light summer supper. We probably don’t associate pasta with all the things we love about the warmer months because it can be rich, indulgent, and heavier than your typical summertime fare.
But this healthy one pot pasta recipe feels completely different. Think: afternoon in Italy, sipping a glass of white, savoring each and every bite of a masterfully crafted handmade pasta. It’s light, refined, and perfect in every way. You get the best of both worlds with a dish that’s easy but amounts to so much more than you’d expect.
“I love this pasta dish because I am always shocked by how simple and tasty it is,” says professional cook and creator of this lusciously light pasta, Amanda Frederickson. “Inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe, all of the ingredients are cooked together and dinner comes together in less than 15 minutes. It’s light but still hearty and is filled with all the flavors we love in summer.” What more could we ask for?
Read on to discover Amanda’s favorite healthy one pot pasta recipe below and get to cooking!
What makes this pasta healthy?
Packing pasta dishes with veggies is the best way I know to get my recommended serving in for the day. In addition to the variety of vegetables and flavors, this healthy one pot pasta recipe uses ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, which have a high amount of lycopene and fiber, and in-season summer ingredients. Using vegetables and fruit at their peak (like fresh summer tomatoes and corn) means you’re eating these ingredients at their tastiest and most nutritionally dense.
Key tips for making this healthy one pot pasta recipe:
- Salt your water properly. We’re all used to salting our pasta water until it tastes like the ocean, but even in one pot varieties, you’ll want to make sure to adequately salt at the beginning. My philosophy with cooking is to cook as you go, and it’s a bit harder when you’re tossing everything together at one time and only tasting at the end. Be sure to salt properly first and adjust as needed.
- Don’t overcook your vegetables. While most one pot pastas work well with any vegetables you have on hand, you might not want all of them to cook the entire time. Some green vegetables like asparagus and broccoli hit their peak flavor and texture when they turn bright emerald green. But when overcooked, they become a dull (and a less visually-appetizing) green. So add vegetables that cook for the longest first and whose flavor and texture won’t be impacted if they cook a bit longer than needed. Add smaller pieces (think peas, corn kernels, and fresh greens) near the end.
- Use a larger pan/pot than you think you might think you need. Like tossing a salad, the larger the bowl, the easier it is to make sure everything cooks evenly and that the flavors and ingredients get properly incorporated. Plus, since everything is cooked in one pot, giving all of the ingredients plenty of space will ensure the pasta cooks properly and nothing gets mushy or overcooked.
This post was originally published on August 23, 2017, and has since been updated.
1 lb. dried pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half if they are large
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno chili, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. basil, plus more for garnish
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Flaky sea salt
In a large pot place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, pepper and basil. Pour in 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 9 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and the water has mostly evaporated.
Top with olive oil and fold in corn, cheese and a big pinch of sea salt.
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