These 5 One-Pot Magic Pastas Only Need 5 Ingredients and a Glance

These 5 One-Pot Magic Pastas Only Need 5 Ingredients and a Glance

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Grace Elkus
Sep 17, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn's easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.

One-pot pastas are an absolute magic trick. Cook pasta start to finish in one pot? No straining? And oh, wait — all the other ingredients for a delicious, well-rounded dinner cook right in the pot with the pasta? Amazing!

In fact, one-pot pastas embody everything we crave in a winning weeknight dinner: minimal prep, a 10-minute cook time, a single dish to clean, and a big payoff in flavor. But what happens to the pasta's cooking water, you ask? As the noodles boil, the water reduces into a starchy binder, creating a rich sauce for the noodles to cling to. See? Magic.

The family-friendly pasta technique deserves a spot in your meal plan, so we came up with five easy, delicious variations to keep you happy and well-fed.

Each only require five major ingredients (not including the basic pantry staples of salt, pepper, and olive oil).

Read more about this magical pasta: The Story of One-Pan Pasta from the Martha Stewart Chef Who Created It

5 Snapshot Recipes for One-Pot Magic Pastas

  • The pasta: Each recipe calls for 12 ounces of linguine, which will serve 4 people. Feel free to substitute your favorite long noodle, such as spaghetti or bucatini — anything that cooks to al dente in eight to nine minutes. Avoid gluten-free pasta, which doesn't release the requisite starch this method relies on.
  • The protein: Meat and shellfish that don't require browning or pre-cooking are best for one-pot pastas. We like fully cooked pork and chicken sausages as well as raw shrimp, which you'll add to the pot in the last few minutes of cooking.
  • The method: The veggies, proteins, and herbs vary within each recipe, but the basic formula remains the same: You'll combine linguine, olive oil, salt, pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water in a pot; bring to a boil; and cook until the pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated. If you prefer a thicker sauce, let the pasta sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • The pot: All of these recipes are made using a Le Creuset 3.5-quart pan. Any shallow straight-sided skillet will work — just avoid a deep skillet or stockpot, which can prevent the water from evaporating and result in overcooked pasta.

Our Favorite Pot for One-Pot Magic Pasta

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One-Pot Puttanesca Pasta

Combine 12 ounces linguine, 12 ounces halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup pitted and halved Castelvetrano olives, 1/4 cup capers, 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning the pasta with tongs to prevent sticking, until pasta is al dente and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 9 minutes. Top with more fresh parsley.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One-Pot Lemon Shrimp Pasta

Combine 12 ounces linguine, 1 bunch kale leaves (torn), 1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), zest of 1 large lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, turning pasta frequently with tongs, for 5 minutes. Add 1 pound raw peeled and deveined shrimp and cook until until pasta is al dente, liquid has nearly evaporated, and shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes more. Halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Top with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One-Pot Spicy Sausage and Tomato Pasta

Combine 12 ounces linguine, 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 1/2 fennel bulb (thinly sliced), 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves, 12 ounces smoked Andouille sausage (cut into 1/2-inch pieces), 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning the pasta with tongs to prevent sticking, until pasta is al dente and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 9 minutes. Top with more fresh basil.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Pesto Pasta

Combine 12 ounces linguine, 10 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms, 6 cloves thinly sliced garlic, 1/4 cup pesto, 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning the pasta with tongs to prevent sticking, until pasta is al dente and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 9 minutes. Top with fresh basil.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One-Pot Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pasta

Combine 12 ounces linguine, 12 ounces cooked chicken sausage (cut into 1/2-inch pieces), 1 bunch fresh spinach, 1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts (drained), 1 Parmesan rind, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning the pasta with tongs to prevent sticking, until pasta is al dente and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove Parmesan rind and toss with 1 cup grated Parmesan.

Do you have a snapshot-style one-pot pasta dinner you love? Tell us all about it — or share a link to an Insta snap and tag us @thekitchn!

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