One Pot Pasta

These one pot pasta miracles show up on Pinterest regularly. With a bare cupboard and limited time to cook dinner it seemed like the perfect time to try one.

This particular recipe is from Martha Stewart’s new cookbook “One Pot”. However, if like me you don’t have the book, the recipe is available on the website here.

One Pan Pasta

My other half was hugely sceptical, especially when all the ingredients were in the pan and there didn’t seem like there was going to be enough water to cook the pasta. But there was and the end result was surprisingly good. I have no idea if they cook pasta this way in Italy or if it is some sort of pasta travesty but it seemed to work.

The dish was delicious eaten immediately but I did notice that any leftovers had a slightly mushy texture. This could be down to the fact that I used regular spaghetti instead of the linguini called for in the recipe (quicker cooking time?).

Would definitely make this again – a fun recipe for rental vacations or even outdoor cooking where cooking utensils and kitchen space are limited.

Winter Minestrone Soup

Or rather what to eat to use up all those vegetables you bought for your new juicer after you discover you don’t like juices that contain spinach and other greens.

I have discovered that the only vegetable I like in my juice is carrot and they are so delicious and sweet that they probably shouldn’t be a vegetable. I also bought a large container of dried wheatgrass… what was I thinking? There is probably no way I am going to be able to disguise that in anything… I have a fairly heightened sense of smell and a vivid imagination and no matter how healthy something is if I don’t like it then I am unable to eat or drink it. Apologies to all the wheatgrass fans but it reminds me of mucking out horses – it has that straw smell. I like horses but not sure I want to drink something that has an aroma of wet straw.

My health kick lasted all of two days and my downfall was a delicious, simple, homemade rice pudding that I made for my children.  It seemed downright unjust to not be able to eat it, so I did. But I am not posting on the rice pudding (in my haste to consume it I forgot to take a picture), I am posting on a fantastic soup I made using all those vegetables.

Barefoot Contessa Minestrone Soup

This recipe is from Barefoot Contessa’s “Foolproof” and like most of Ina’s recipes is very straightforward. I made one change, I put the pasta into the soup to cook instead of cooking it separately (the only reason for this was laziness – I didn’t want to wash the extra pan). This recipe was delicious but the addition of the pesto and parmesan and a drizzling of olive oil to serve is what really makes it go beyond vegetable soup. Most of the ingredients are store cupboard or standard vegetable drawer fare which makes it very easy to put together. Because of the spinach, this soup isn’t really a keeper and wasn’t as vibrant when we had leftovers the next day; it still tasted delicious but on the looks front it had lost its pizzazz.

A delicious soup hearty enough for supper with a slice of cottage loaf slathered with butter.

Yogurt Pot Cake

I have been meaning to try the recipe for Yogurt Pot Cake in Nigellisima for a while. Usually, these quaint recipes are the best and my quest for an arsenal of easy and delicious keepers had made me earmark this one.  With the whisked egg whites in this recipe it perhaps doesn’t quite fill the easy category but the use of the yogurt pot to measure is a fab idea. Nigella provides measurements with the recipe but the pot route seems less complicated.

The yogurt pots over here seem to come in 125ml sizes but the recipe calls for 150ml. I decide to stick to the yogurt pot size because through experience, a recipe using something like pureed pumpkin but only uses 3/4 of the can is a nightmare and always leaves me in the “I can’t throw away that last 1/4 of a can but I know that I am never going to be able to use it for anything” dilemma. The outcome is always the same, I decant the remaining portion into a container, pop it into the fridge only to leave it to fester and be thrown away in a few weeks time.

The cake is pretty easy to put together, the whisked egg whites notwithstanding, and takes only about 20 minutes. I don’t have the ring mould Nigella uses so decided to use a bundt pan. The flavour of this cake is really wonderful however, for me, it turned out quite dry. I took it out at 30 minutes but think I may need to invest in an oven thermometer. I will definitely be making this again but will lower the heat and check the cake after 25 minutes.

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This is a scrumptious homely cake delicious with a cup of fresh coffee. Unfortunately, because my cake was so dry the coffee accompaniment was essential.