I’m gonna go ahead and be straight with you here: I have a very serious pasta addiction. If there were help groups, my friends and family would likely make me attend. But honestly, how can you not LOVE such a versatile food! One of my favourite meals as of late are one-pot wonders — there is a single pot to deal with at the end, which heavily appeals to the occasional lazy girl in me. I’ve seen quite a few different spins on it, but this recipe is my own!
So, like I said, one-pot wonders are SUPER easy. Insert all ingredients, receive delicious meal. They are quick, easy, and flavourful! I had a touch of the goof while I was cooking and forgot to take my pictures landscape, so bear with me for the funny looking angles!
I usually begin by collecting all of my ingredients so that I’m not scrambling throughout the process. As you can see, the ingredients are super simple (I was on-the-go), but it turns out fantastically. You can always dress it up or down.
The first step is to chop up your onions and mince your garlic. I used 1/4 of a medium white onion, and 2 cloves of garlic. I like my onion to have a little bit of a physical presence in the final dish, but you can dice them up as small as you like! Depending on your preferences, you can always add more or less of each.
The cooking process began by sautéing my onions and garlic. I put one tablespoon of olive oil into the pan over a medium-low flame to heat it up before adding my onions. I recently learned from my chef boyfriend that if you throw the onions into the pot or pan to sauté first, you won’t turn the garlic into bitter, burnt lumps of disappointment.
Once your onions have softened and become somewhat translucent, add 1 cup of semi-drained diced tomato to the pot. The tomato brings some fantastic flavour to the dish, and I have definitely been known to add more than a cup in the past. You also want to add your 3/4 cup of broth – today I used beef – and 1/2 cup of half-and-half. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
These are two ingredients that you can play a little more with. For me, I tend to use low-salt broths, mostly out of habit from cooking and eating with my family. As for the half-and-half, it was what I had in the fridge. If you’re feeling extra decadent, heavy cream is amazing. However, I was more than satisfied with the results using the half-and-half!
Once you’re up to a boil, add your 1 cup of penne and give the whole thing a stir. This is the tricky part [and I promise it’s hardly tricky], because you’re cooking the pasta and reducing the whole thing down to a creamy, delicious sauce all at once. This means you need to turn the heat down a little and stir the pasta throughout the process to keep it from sticking. Depending on the pasta you use, the cooking process will take about 10-15 minutes. If needed, add a splash of broth towards the end to get the pasta cooked all the way through!
Once the pasta is cooked, turn the heat down low, add your spinach, mix, and cover the pot for a minute [whooops forgot a photo! Clearly I was too excited to eat!]. This will wilt the spinach.
I usually garnish this with a little bit of fresh grated parmesan. And then, of course, the best part, EATING. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
One-Pot Wonder feat. Creamy Tomato and Spinach Penne
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
- 1/4 medium white onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced tomato, semi-drained
- 3/4 cup broth
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup penne
- Approx. 1 cup spinach
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Dice the onion into small pieces.
- Mince the garlic.
- Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a pot.
- Add diced white onion to the pot and simmer for approximately one minute. Add the minced garlic to the pot. Sauté the onions and garlic until the onions are semi-translucent.
- Add 1 cup of semi-drained diced tomatoes to the pot.
- Add 3/4 cup broth, and 1/2 cup half-and-half to the pot. Stir until ingredients are combined. Bring to a boil.
- Add 1 cup penne and cook to al dente [approximately 8-10 minutes] over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Add a splash of broth if necessary.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add approx. 1 cup spinach to the pot, stir, and cover the pot for a minute.
- Serve hot! Garnish with parmesan.