Monday, January 27, 2014

Cheesy One Pot Pasta with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

Cheesy One Pot Pasta with Parmesan and Pine Nuts recipe
Do you remember the One Pot Pasta that I shared with you last year? Have you tried it yet? 20 minutes start to finish and dinner is served. It's almost ridiculously simple to make. Toss everything into one pot, add water, cook and serve. The last time I made this, my boys had requested a cheesy pasta, so I stirred in a generous handful of cheese at the very end and then topped each bowl with more cheese. I added pine nuts as well, just because I love them. The pine nuts added a lovely nutty bite to the noodles and we made it again to share with you.

This pasta is unbelievably rich and creamy and saucy, without any cream or actual "sauce" in the recipe. The tomatoes and the cooking liquid will reduce down as the pasta releases starches that thicken the liquid and make it creamy. Take care not to overcook the pasta, taste it as it cooks and as soon as the pasta is as soft as you like it, remove it from the heat. The remaining cooking liquid will cling to the pasta making it's own sauce.

Cheesy One Pot Pasta with Parmesan and Pine Nuts recipe

One Pot Pasta with Parmesan and Pine Nuts
Yield: 4-6 servings
(printable recipe)

12 ounces spaghetti, linguini or fettuccine *
2 large shallots, very thinly sliced, about a cup
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups grape tomatoes, halved, I used half red grape and sunburst tomatoes

12 basil leaves, torn in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
4 1/2 cups water
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Combine all ingredients in a straight sided large skillet or pot. Bring to a high boil and then reduce heat just enough to keep it boiling without splattering you as you stir and toss it constantly with tongs for about 8-10 minutes. The water and tomatoes will reduce down and the pasta will release starches that thicken it and make it creamy.

Do not wait for all of the liquid to evaporate. Taste the pasta as it finishes cooking. When it has softened to your liking remove from the heat. Stir in half of the cheese and the pine nuts. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Scoop into serving bowls and top with the rest of the cheese. Enjoy!

* I used gluten free, brown rice fettuccine noodles and they worked just as well as traditional pasta.

Cheesy One Pot Pasta with Parmesan and Pine Nuts recipe

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  1. Well Mary, you have done it again! Another dish that sounds delicious and good for you. I can't wait for fresh tomato time! My husband plants cherry or grape tomatoes and this will be great to use some of them up. Thanks for the wonderful recipes you share!!

  2. I make this almost every week, with various changes in seasoning, pasta type, stirring cheese or cream cheese in at the last minute. Also, I sometimes add leftover sausage or chicken or ground beef after it is cooked too. A real go-to recipe for sure!

  3. Wow that looks so creamy - very nice Mary! Love pine nuts too :)

  4. I've seen these before and really like the idea but haven't tried it yet.

  5. I don't think I could bear to cook this---it looks so pretty all laid out in the pot!

  6. I've been wanting to try the one pot pasta since I saw it last year.. but wouldn't you know it.. the recipe got put somewhere and I can't find it... thank you so much for posting this one! I can't wait to try it... easy is the key in the kitchen for me these days!!

  7. Must try this - it sounds too good to be true!

  8. I made this tonight - it tasted lovely but it turned out to be a two-pot - in the first pot everything stuck to the bottom so had to switch pots. Make sure you keep stirring, keep it moist enough and not too hot.

  9. Question, how do you make it so your pasta doesn't release a lot of starch? Every time I make any of my gluten free pasta, I end up having tons of starch. Sometime so much that I rinse the pasta part way through cooking and refresh the water. That isn't even including putting it in a dish like this. I would love to try but worried of all the starch that is being released compared to normal gluten pasta. Thanks!

    1. I've had the best luck with Tinkyada pastas, they are more starchy than traditional, but nowhere near as starchy as some of the other GF pastas I've tried in the past. However, if the starch bothers you, this might not be the best recipe to try. Even with traditional pasta, the starches are the main thickener in the sauce.