Meal Planning, Working Mom

One Pot Pasta

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We’ve all seen the one pot recipes on Facebook that only take a few minutes to put together, right? I finally decided to try one this week to see if it really was as easy as it looked. Not only was it easy, it was delicious! Not only did I only dirty one pot (a minor miracle in my kitchen), but the prep and cooking of the dish was super simple and packed with hidden vegies that the kids devoured! Another minor miracle.
I started with one pound of pasta. You can use any type of pasta, the recipe called for fettuccine, but I’m a rebel – what can I say? I found this gorgeous super Springy looking mix at Homegoods this weekend. At first I picked it up because I wanted to use it for crafts with the kiddos. That quickly turned into this beautiful, super colorful and fun dinner. This was my first time in a Homegoods and let me tell you, I think it is going to be a problem! I absolutely loved it! They had the cutest kitchen items, dishware and table linens that I have seen in a while, and the prices were amazing. No, I’m not a Homegoods affiliate, but I would love to be! Call me, guys.
Now that my tangent is over, let’s get back to the good stuff. I diced my 1 pound of chicken thighs – you can use any cut, I just prefer to cook with boneless, skinless thighs for the flavor – into half inch pieces. You don’t have to go that small, but with tiny people in the house, I tend to default to smaller pieces. I threw those into my pot with a teaspoon of salt, two tablespoons of minced garlic, and a splash of olive oil. Once cooked thoroughly, I added 1 cup of finely diced onions, 4 cups fresh baby spinach, 1 can of petite diced tomatoes (don’t drain), and two tablespoons of seasoning. For the seasoning, I used a Tuscan blend that I get at my local olive oil store that is mainly used to season oil for bread dipping. You could certainly use regular Italian seasoning instead. Mix thoroughly and add four cups of chicken or vegetable stock and your pasta. To brighten up the dish a bit, I used the juice from ½ a large lemon and two tablespoons of French butter (it has a higher milkfat content, use quality ingredients!). There is just something about that little touch of citrus that really brings out the flavors of the vegies in this dish.
I cooked this recipe on medium low (my stove was set to 4) for about 30 minutes. Be sure to stir every few minutes so that your pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot. Be sure to put the lid on your pot to keep the moisture in. As the pasta was cooking, I grated 4 ounces of fresh parmesan cheese with my Microplane hand grater. These little guys are the best thing since sliced bread. Originally, these tools were made for woodworking and sold in the hardware section. Thankfully, some bright soul realized they were perfect for kitchen use as well and the company began to make kitchen products. They are sharp and sturdy, easily grating hard cheeses, chocolate, anything that you want to send across it. I picked up a Microplane brand cheese grater years ago and it still looks brand new – I would go back to a regular one for all the kitchen gadgets in the world. My other Microplane product that I adore is a nutmeg keeper and grater. Again, would have to be under duress to give this little guy up!
To finish this dish, stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and top with freshly chopped Italian parsley. What a beautiful, colorful little bowl of Spring colored deliciousness! My tinies are picky eaters – they didn’t even fuss and asked for more. I served this with green peas and a mixed green salad. The prep for the entire meal took less than one hour from start to finish. If I prepare the chicken in advance, I think I can cut it down to about 30 minutes of cook time and hardly any clean up at all. As promised, only one pot! Buen provecho!

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