I tried a recipe that I found on Pinterest that really caught my attention. It is called One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta. I had to try it. I'll share the link HERE because this blogger actually has an actual recipe on that blog post. I am SO GLAD I saw this pin. It's fantastic! Impressive to say the least! And the pictures just reel you in. Mmmmm!
I'm just going to tell you how I did it since I love the method to making this dish. I never thought of cooking the pasta AND the vegetables together in one pot! Talk about a "duh" moment!
I LOVE recipes that I can make my own. I especially love when I can use whatever I have on hand in my garden or in my pantry to come up with something delicious to eat. This is one of those kind of recipes. You can use whatever vegetables you have and whatever kind of pasta you have, and have something really, really delicious!
Basically you cook the chopped vegetables and the pasta in salted water all together in one pot. Then you dump off a little of the water (not all of the water), add some cream and some parmesan, stir well, and put a lid on it. There it sits to thicken as the pasta absorbs some of the liquids still left in the pot.
The greatest part about this recipe is that you can use whatever pasta you have at home and whatever vegetables you have at home, and ... well... make something to eat! How wonderful is that? It tastes fresh and yet light and wonderfully creamy. I was completely shocked at how just a little bit of cream and a little bit of parmesan cheese (and I used the kind in the green can for heaven's sake!) can turn out a dish grand enough to serve to company. I'm sure you could use a little bit of fresh cheese, like cheddar, mozerella, or even (eek) that strange processed orange "cheese" in the box, if that's all you have.
I would think this would be a great way to encourage little ones to eat their vegetables. What little kid doesn't want to dive into macaroni & cheese? So... maybe the mac & cheese has a "few" extras in there. What's such a big deal about that?? LOL - (My kid, personally would have freaked, but probably if I had started her younger - say two years old, she might not have been so freaked out about seeing veges in her mac & cheese.)
OK... enough la - de - dah... here's how I made One Pot Garden Vege Creamy Pasta AT HOME MY WAY:
One Pot - Garden Vege Creamy Pasta
- Chopped fresh vegetables (I used some frozen peas and they were great), such as zucchini, asparagus, carrots, green beans (not canned), green pepper, yellow squash, mushrooms
- Boxed pasta (spaghetti, ziti, penne, shell pasta, bow tie pasta, whatever you have) (You don't have to use much. I just used a small bundle of spaghetti a little bigger than a quarter. If using small pasta like macaroni, penne, - 1 cup of pasta would suffice.)
- Cream, milk, or half & half (I used cream, which at the store they call "whipping cream") (Less than 1/4 cup will be needed.)
Place the chopped vegetables in a pot. I was serving my dish as a side so I used a small/med saucepan. Feel free to use as many vegetables as you want.
Cover with water enough that you will be able to add pasta to the pot, and so that the pasta will be able to float freely in the water swimming around comfortably in there. I covered my vegetables with a good 2 inches of HOT water.
Heat the water to boiling. Salt the water (making sure to get enough salt) and add the pasta:
Stir a few times as the pasta starts to cook and comes to a boil so that it doesn't sink to the bottom or all stick together in one big gob.
Lightly simmer/boil for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is just cooked done - not super duper soft. (Take a taste of the pasta halfway through the cooking process to see if you have enough salt. If not, add a little more salt.) Remove from the stove, turn off the burner.
Dump off some of the water. I used a cracked lid so that I didn't lose any pasta/vegetables as I drained off some water. Dump off the water until it is just below the surface of the cooked pasta/vegetables. Do not drain all the water off. Leave some water in there.
Add some cream or milk. How much will be relative to how much pasta/vegetables you are cooking. I used less than 1/4 cup.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Stir.
Place the lid on, making the sure burner is off, and let sit for about 10 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed all of the water.
Serve with additional parmesan cheese.
(My ratio of vegetables to pasta is a little off. I would have liked more vegetables but I didn't know just how to do it the first time. The meal was STELLAR though! Definitely going to make this often!)