one pot pasta

One-Pot Pork & Vegetable Pasta

Who isn’t a fan of one-pot meals? The fewer pots and pans I have to wash, the happier I am. I’ve lived with a rotating cast of roommates for the past seven years that have had varying levels of kitchen cleanliness, from keeping the sink so clean you could eat out of it to leaving dishes in a gravity-defying two-foot tall stack for three days straight. I’d rather wash one large pot at the end of the night if I’m going to be washing other peoples’ dishes as well. 😉

(Ahhh, New York, New York…roommates…)

one pot pasta

This recipe is based on a wonderful one-pot recipe I yanked from Buzzfeed a couple of weeks ago. On weeknights when I’m struggling to come up with a meal, Buzzfeed has saved the night dozens of times over the past few years. Seriously. Bless ’em. I’ve tried quite a few one-pot recipes from them. Most work, while a choice few have failed. (A watery pasta – chili – soup amalgamation I tried this winter certainly wasn’t one for the record books.) This one, however, has quickly become a staple for me. It easily makes dinner for two, and I can get an additional three or four lunches out of it. Surprisingly, I don’t get sick of it for a few consecutive lunches, either. It’s that delicious.

one pot pasta

I upped the ante a tad by adding some grated carrot into the dish; sautéed shredded carrots are something I’ve always enjoyed with pasta! I remember how I used to make a dish back in high school that I got from the back of a pasta box. I tossed small bow ties with sautéed carrots and onion, along with freshly crumbled bacon. In that case, it adds a really lovely sweetness to the savory bacon. In this dish, it’s simply a good excuse to squeeze an extra vegetable in. You know, health and all that jazz…

one pot pasta

One-Pot Pork & Vegetable Pasta
(Makes 4 large servings or 6 small servings)
(Recipe adapted from Buzzfeed’s One-Pot Pasta with Pork and Tomato Sauce)

Ingredients:

– 1 pound ground pork
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 1 tablespoon dried oregano
– 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
– 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
– 1 cup carrot, shredded
– 2 cups stock (chicken or veggie stocks work best)
– 1/2 cup water
– 8 ounces whole grain spaghetti, split in half for shorter strands
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– Tomato paste is a must for this dish. The first time I made it, I did not have any. When I made it the second time with tomato paste, I noticed a very marked difference in flavor.

– If you want more variety in texture, substitute 14 ounces of crushed tomato and 14 ounces of chopped tomato for the 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes.

Directions:

1.) In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add ground pork; use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the pork. Spread evenly over bottom of pot for even cooking. Cook pork until evenly lightly brown on all sides. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2.) Add onion and garlic to pot and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add carrots and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes or until carrots are softened. Add tomato paste to pot and stir until the pork mixture is thoroughly coated. Add stock, water, tomatoes, and oregano and stir until combined.

3.) Add pasta to pot and submerge in liquid and pork mixture; be sure to separate the pasta strands slightly, or it may clump up while cooking. Bring mixture to a quick boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes; do not disturb the pasta. Remove cover and stir pasta, cooking for another 8 – 10 minutes or until al dente. Remove from heat; add spinach and stir until wilted and combined with the pasta and sauce.

Breakfast Bake

Potato & Pepper Breakfast Bake for One

On my Instagram account a few days back, I posed a question to some of my followers in which I asked what I should put for my second blog post. A vast majority wanted me to post a recipe for Brown Butter Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats. This guy I know pretty well, Adam*, makes some pretty spectacular ones, loved by my friends, roommates, family, and co-workers alike.

…then the perfectionist in me didn’t like any of the photos I had taken of them in prior weeks and will wait until I’m blessed with better natural lighting.

Still, would y’all really complain if I decided to put a shredded potato, red bell peppers, and a baked egg in a cast iron skillet, would ya?

breakfast bake

Didn’t think so.

A few weeks ago, I had some of my close foodie friends over for a small brunch at my apartment. Though my brunch preferences always lean towards the side of French toasts and pancakes, I knew I was baking for fans of savory brunch bites and connoisseurs of Yolk Porn. I am a big fan of cast iron skillets, if I may sound like a somewhat typical food blogger AND a Millennial female. *sigh* But really, who doesn’t love cooking ware that can go straight from stove top to the oven? It saves me time and dishes! I found a recipe online for a cast iron skillet-cooked breakfast bake, and it’s hard to go wrong with a carb, vegetable, and protein cooked together in one felt swoop. It was a hit among my friends, even if I did overcook the yolks.** I found myself craving it again in the weeks after this brunch, but didn’t want to whip out a 13″ skillet just for myself. Thank you, Lodge, for the creation of your 8″ cast iron skillet. You know how to make a girl happy.

breakfast bake

* – He’s been stalking me pretty consistently for almost three years now. I’ve just given up. After all, he loves washing my dishes after I cook.

** – I hope my friends have forgiven me. If they haven’t, they’ve done a great job hiding their deep-seated animosity.

Potato & Pepper Breakfast Bake for One

Ingredients:
– 1 Russet Potato, scrubbed and eyes removed
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 1 small white onion, diced
– 1 egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)
.

Before We Get Started…

– Preheat oven to 350 °F.
– This dish will work best as noted in an 8″ – 9″ cast iron skillet. Should you not have one, modify as follows: Complete Step #2 in a non-stick skillet. Add contents of the skillet to a lightly greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Continue with Step #3.

Directions:

1.) Shred potato and add to a large bowl; add enough cold water to cover. Let stand 5 minutes; drain and pat dry.

2.) Melt butter with oil over medium heat. Add pepper and onion, sautéing for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté for an additional two minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3.) Remove skillet from heat. Use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the potato and pepper mixture; crack the egg into this indentation.

4.) Move skillet to oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until eggs are set.* Serve immediately!

* – Baking for 20 minutes will get you a very hard yolk and delightfully crispy potatoes, if that’s your thing. For me, you’re damn straight it is!