Who would have ever thought that pantry pasta was going to trend? There are so many pantry pasta recipes going around right now. I thought I’d join in and provide a few tidbits of why some ingredients work remarkable well for this concept. Don’t ever feel like you need the exact same ingredients in any of these recipes. Use whatever you have in your pantry or anything you can find at the grocery store. I hope you guys find this helpful! And again, another one pot dish for easy cooking for the family (or yourself) and easy cleaning.
Pasta to Water Ratio
The idea of a one pot pasta is that the pasta is cooked with everything at the same time. This means that traditional pasta cooking is out the window and therefore you need the exact correct amount of water in order to not turn your pasta into soup. I prefer my pasta a bit more al dente so I use a ratio of 5 cups of water to 16 ounces of dried pasta. I find it to be the perfect texture with this amount of liquid! But if you find the pasta to be too hard, add another half cup of water and cook for another 5 minutes until the water is gone.
Beans are Life Savers
I used to be snooty about my beans. I favored dried beans over canned for a long time but there’s nothing that beats the convenience of canned. Canned beans are the best for one pot pastas! As the beans cook, they break down and become creamy. The creaminess acts as part of the “sauce.” I like to add half the can at the beginning and then add the second half towards the end so I have some bites with the pasta. Any kind of beans will work so don’t even give it a second thought! If you have dried beans, just simply cook the beans in water/stock until soft and follow the same approach.
Any canned goods can be added to pantry pasta. Corn. Green beans. Mushrooms. If you have it, use it! Keep in mind when to throw different ingredients into the pot though. If you’re hoping to retain the shape/texture of certain ingredients, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking to gently heat them up versus cooking them down into the sauce. I luckily had a can of pumpkin puree left over from Thanksgiving and threw that in to create a creamy and rich pumpkin sauce. No pumpkin? It doesn’t matter! The starches from the pasta will help mesh everything together in the pot and create a sauce.
There are no rules during lockdown! I had some grape tomatoes that were way past their prime for salad eating but not yet completely dead. I halved them and threw them into the pot. Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have that won’t last much longer. I promise that they might not be pretty to look at, but they’ll be delicious cooked up. Just remember that harder vegetables (carrots, celery) should be thrown in at the start of cooking so they have time to soften up. If the veggies are already soft (like artichoke hearts) and you’d like to retain their shape/texture, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking just to heat them through.
Honestly, I didn’t throw any meat in my pasta but it was still so satisfying. The combination of carbs and loads of vegetables and legumes don’t need much else. Feel free to throw in defrosted cubed chicken or even spam or chopped up hot dogs. Even canned tuna would be perfect. Again, use whatever you have and just go WILD.
Aromatics and Herbs
Key to a good pasta dish is flavor. And you get tons of flavor from aromatics such as garlic and onions and fresh or dried herbs. It’s tough shopping right now and some of your favorite fresh herbs might not be in stock at the store. But don’t despair! Dried herbs will work remarkably in this dish, or any dish, to substitute fresh ones. I use fresh herbs in the one pot pantry pasta two ways: I throw some in to cook and then I top the pasta with more fresh herbs.
Do you guys have any questions or have an idea of other SIP cooks you want to see? Just email me! Stay safe and healthy, my friends!
My One Pot Pantry Pasta
- 1 box dried pasta
- 1 can beans
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 container of mushrooms
- Any vegetable that might be going bad soon, washed, peeled, and cut if necessary
- Herbs, fresh or dried
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Salt and pepper
- Water - adjust using a ratio of 5 cups to 16 ounces of dried pasta
- Step 1 Place all the ingredients into a large pot or pan.
- Step 2 Bring everything to a boil and turn down the heat to a light simmer.
- Step 3 Cook for 20-25 minutes until the water is gone.
- Step 4 Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and top with fresh herbs if desired.