Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pasta for Those Who Hate Doing Dishes

When I cook, it’s either two scenes: 1) I make a big mess and pile up my sink with used utensils, bowls, dishes and cooking racks, or 2) I have a few limited pots to wash after a quick-and-easy dinner. Especially on a weeknight, I like to keep the washing to a minimum (which is why I love leftover night because I’m basically just microwaving dinner from the night before and just washing one plate).

Awhile back, I read an article in the Los Angeles Times about a chef recommending cooking pasta in your sauce. I forgot which chef actually said that. I think it was Thomas Keller. But cooking your pasta and sauce together? I’m so there.

So below is a recipe I created using that concept of one-pot cooking. Afterwards I didn’t have to deal with washing my big multi-layered pot I used to boil pasta. I just had to wash the skillet, a plate and a wine glass. Perfect for my lazy nights.

The trick with using this technique is to time when you add the different ingredients because they all cook at different times. So for example, below I cooked the chicken with the pasta in a chicken broth-tomato sauce. Then I later added in the zucchini because I didn’t want it to be totally soft by the time I ate it. So you can easily create your own pasta favorite, just know when to add the ingredients. The total cooking time, however, is always based on the pasta of your choice, which is why I chose penne because it usually has a longer cooking time than others. Enjoy!

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