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