There’s one factor you are able to do to make any pasta dish simpler, and arguably extra satisfying: Cook the pasta and the sauce collectively in a single pot.
The method hinges on the magic of the starchy cooking water, which is commonly added to pasta dishes to assist the sauce come collectively. But right here, the very water the pasta is cooked in seasons the noodles and turns into the velvety sauce. Practically any pasta that cooks in 10 minutes or much less works, however be sure to use the proper ratio of pasta to water. That’s the important thing to the dish’s success.
1. In a 12-inch skillet with excessive sides (you possibly can use a pan of a distinct measurement, however cook dinner occasions and water quantities will range), soften four tablespoons butter or warmth 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium. Add any substances that want to be cooked by means of, like garlic, hearty greens, sausage or bacon. (See the Flavors part beneath for some concepts.)
2. Once they’ve softened, add 12 ounces of pasta (be sure it’s going to cook dinner in 10 minutes or much less — something with an extended cook dinner time can be erratically cooked), together with 5 cups water and a pair of teaspoons salt. If the noodles don’t lay flat within the skillet, break them in half.
three. Turn the warmth to excessive and cook dinner, stirring and tossing the pasta consistently, till it’s al dente, about eight to 10 minutes. If it appears to be like dry, add water. Season to style with kosher salt and black pepper. Remove from warmth and serve.
With this method, nearly every little thing is adaptable: You can swap in every kind of substances, change the cooking liquid and experiment along with your noodles.
This recipe is an particularly good way to stretch greens and meat, or to make use of substances that want to be used up. Add hearty greens and uncooked meats in Step 1, and add quick-cooking substances, like shrimp or peas, in Step three towards the tip of cooking time.
Swap out some or the entire water for broth, coconut milk or dashi.
If you need a creamier pasta, add one other half to three/four cup heavy cream or complete milk towards the tip.
You may additionally use udon, soba or ramen, however regulate the water and cook dinner time. (It’s higher to begin with much less liquid and add extra if the pan appears to be like dry.) Use rice or one other grain and also you’ve acquired fake risotto.
If you’re stumped on how to experiment, attempt these mixtures. Consider every of those your first step, then decide up from Step 2 within the recipe above.
Broccoli and anchovy (above): Cook anchovies and sliced garlic in olive oil, then add finely chopped broccoli and red-pepper flakes.
Brown butter noodles: Cook the butter till it smells toasty, and also you see little browned bits.
Alfredo: Melt butter. Sauté leeks or garlic till delicate. Add a Parmesan rind. Just earlier than serving, add handfuls of grated Parmesan and just a little heavy cream.
Hearty greens and chives: Cook the stems of chard, kale or collard greens with the butter, then add thinly sliced leaves and complete chives. Finish with lemon zest and juice (and possibly toasted bread crumbs).
Cauliflower Bolognese: Melt butter and soften chopped garlic. Add tomato paste and cook dinner till it begins to stick to the underside of the pot. Add cauliflower rice, sliced onion and red-pepper flakes.
Nori butter ramen: Brown the butter, then add crumbled bits of nori and grated ginger. Add ramen and frozen peas. Finish with parsley, extra nori, and lemon or lime.