One–Pot Pasta

I love easy dinners that require little to no clean up. In an attempt a simple dish with minimal cleanup to become a staple, I tried to make one–pot pasta.

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Most of the vegetables were canned or required no preparation, so I only had to chop the onions and garlic. I cooked the pork in the Dutch oven until browned, which did not take long at all. I then added the garlic and onion and stirred everything together for about a minute.

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I added the tomato paste and oregano, stirring until everything was coated. I then added the crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, and water and stirred well.

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I then added the bucatini and allowed it to cook. I found this to be the most difficult part of this recipe. The cooking directions given in the recipe were quite strange and completely different than those given on the bucatini box. Because of this, it was difficult for me to judge when the bucatini was adequately cooked.

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Once the bucatini was done I added the parmesan cheese and spinach. The cheese stirred easily, but the spinach was another story. It was incredibly difficult to mix the spinach in with the bucatini: I ended up using a tong, a spoon, and still managed to splash sauce all over the stovetop. As a result, the spinach was not dispersed evenly and was congregated in gross clumps.

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I was not a fan of this meal. The spinach was clumpy and the sauce wasn’t super flavorful. My family loved it, however, so it may just be a matter of opinion. I did like the pork. Usually, I make spaghetti sauce with beef. The pork was less overpowering and meaty tasting, which I liked. The biggest problem I had with this was probably the spinach. I may try it again with a different pasta type, such as bowtie, that would be smaller and easier to mix.

Ratings

Ease: 3/5

The mixing of the spinach was very frustrating and made a huge mess. On the bright side, only one pot got dirty.

Taste: 3.5/5

This dish was pretty bland. It wasn’t gross, but it wasn’t spectacular either.

Would I make it again?

Probably, though I would tweak the ingredients slightly.

One–Pot Pasta with Pork and Tomato Sauce

Recipe from BuzzFeed

Yields: 4 servings          Prep Time: 10 minutes          Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 8 ounces dry bucatini pasta
  • 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and use a wooden spoon to break it up and spread it over the bottom of the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is lightly browned on all sides.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, just until the garlic is fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the tomato paste and oregano and stir to coat the pork and vegetables with the paste.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, and ½ cup water. Season with more salt and pepper and stir everything together.
  5. Add the bucatini and make sure it’s submerged in the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and stir the bucatini, then cover and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is cooked al dente.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, add the spinach and Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring constantly, just until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve immediately, with more Parmesan cheese.
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