Simplicity: One Skillet Pasta

I was inspired by a recipe in the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living, on page 154 (gorgeous full-page photo on page 100 I might add). The concept was a duh moment. Cook everything, in one skillet. No draining. Dinner is ready in 15 minutes. Funny is, I have cooked pasta in a similar fashion, when hiking. It never occurred to me to do this at home.

The pasta itself is customizable. I mostly followed the recipe, but one could add whatever vegetables they craved. I swapped in multi-grain pasta, used half the salt and adjusted the water due to using a bit more pasta than called for. And…one coudl easily use broth instead of water, minus the salt, for an even better option.


A bonus? Image having this on a summer evening, made with just picked tomatoes and basil….


One Skillet Pasta


  • 13.25 ounce package multi-grain linguine pasta (or 12 ounces white pasta)
  • 10 to 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered or halved, depending on size
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (use ¼ tsp if you don’t like it really spicy)
  • 2 large sprigs basil, leaves picked off, stems discarded + extra leaves for topping
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 cups water


Break linguine in half, place in a large/deep skillet. Add remaining ingredients on top, bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for about 9 minutes, stirring and tossing the pasta with tongs often, until most of the water has evaporated, and the pasta is al dente.

Serve topped with more basil leaves torn and a drizzle more olive oil, if desired. If desired toss with a little faux-Parmesan or sesame seeds.

Vegetarian option:

Finely grate a small pile of pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese, toss with the pasta after taking off the heat, and a bit more to top with before eating.

Serves 4.



Carrot and Peanut Noodles



I prepared this cheerful dish a few weeks back for the family, the toddler enjoyed it quite a bit. The color is what I liked, it felt very inviting.


Carrot and Peanut Noodles


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1 heaping Tbsp natural chunky peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 pound pasta, any desired shape
  • Raw sesame seed for topping


Heat a large skillet over medium. Add oil, onion and carrots, sauté for a few minutes, add in garlic and ginger, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes, shaking pan periodically and stirring. Take off heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook as directed. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain pasta.

While pasta is cooking, purée carrot mixture in a food processor with soy sauce, peanut butter and 2 Tbsp warm water.

Toss hot pasta with sauce, add in reserved pasta cooking water, as needed, till smooth and coating.

Serve with sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Serves 4.

PS: On Monday will be another book giveaway coming! If you love cooking, especially vegan, be sure to pop by to enter!


Artichoke and Tomato Spaghetti

This recipe was one I made quite awhile back (a year ago). I pulled it out of my files as my main computer’s hard drive took a dump yesterday morning, right after we had a power outage (it wasn’t related). Kirk is rebuilding it (thank you off-site backups!!) but for now I can’t upload new photos – and I get to use my teen’s computer or my iPad. First world problems and all, boy do I miss my computer though!

PS:Thank you all for SO many visits and comments yesterday during the Vegan Potluck. It was fun, I will do it agin if it is held! We have a great community out here, all of us crazy bloggers!

A quick and easy dinner, add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicier. Originally this recipe had cheese added. Now? I’d use finely ground almond meal mixed with Italian herb seasoning or Dry bread crumbs flavored with Italian herb seasoning. Both make great cheese substitutes for pasta!

Artichoke and Tomato Spaghetti


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 cup drained marinated artichokes, diced (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup reserved marinade
  • Parmesan cheese, if desired or ground almond meal + italian herb seasoning or Italian flavored dry bread crumbs
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti or 13.25 ounce multi-grain spaghetti


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, add the spaghetti and cook for time on package. Before draining reserve a cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add in the onion and cook covered for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add in the garlic, artichokes and spices, cover and let cook for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and marinade, turn to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add in reserved pasta water as needed for a smooth sauce. Top liberally as desired with cheese, ground almonds or bread crumbs.

Serves 4.


Pumpkin and Sage Pasta

Note from me – I wrote this recipe last fall, in late October. It was saved as a draft and I forgot about it. Fall is nearly here again, seems like a perfect time to post this recipe!

I made this awhile back before my sage plants started turning yellow for fall (they tend to that as the nights get colder!). It was good but it needed something more, still not sure but I can work on it. Kirk’s reply was “sausage”. Gee, thanks!

In the recipe I use some not as common measurements. If you haven’t seen these Pinch Dash Smidgen Measuring Spoons before you need to! When Kirk got them for me as a present I wasn’t sure how often I would use them, I use them at least a couple of times a week now. It makes for much more accurate measuring over using ones fingers.

Pumpkin and Sage Pasta


  • 1 lb small pasta shapes (used bow ties)
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, trimmed of stem and dry, cut into slivers
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and diced (or 1 onion)
  • 4 tsp granulated garlic (or 4 fresh cloves, diced)
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup milk – dairy or unsweetened almond
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (used Tabasco)
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon (1/8 tsp)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (1/16 tsp)
  • Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, cook pasta for time on package and drain.

Meanwhile in a large non-stick skillet heat half the oil over medium heat. Add in sage leaves and cook until crispy (the pan will quit sizzling). Take out the leaves and let drain on clean paper towels.

Add in the remaining oil and the shallots and let cook until tender. Sprinkle the garlic on and let cook a minute, then add the broth, pumpkin and milk and the remaining seasoning.

Turn to medium-low and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Toss with the hot pasta and add cheese as desired.

Top with the crispy sage leaves on each serving.

Serves 4.


Summer Pasta – Light and Lemony

We had a pretty evening yesterday with a cool day overall. Perfect for working in the garden with my boys. Walker and I harvested the first ripe blueberries, little ones off my subalpine bushes, the berries are very small in comparison to regular berries. But quite tasty, as little berries are often found to be. Our regular blueberries are 2 to 4 weeks away from being ripe so this kept Walker happy!

We checked our Red Huckleberry plants and 3 of the berries were ripe, Walker was impatiently waiting for me to hand them over!

Last year I had found a Stevia plant but it didn’t fare well over the winter and died. I found a new plant in the spring and so far it is healthier and doing better than the previous one. Its flowers are tiny and quite pretty:

When we bought our house the backyard was intense, the previous owner was a bulb and shrub lover. I have pulled out quite a few of the plants in the past near 8 years but a few hang on – such as the very pretty lilies that bloom in June.

Walker having a great time “sawing” at the retaining wall:

For dinner a light meal sounded perfect. This dish takes only the time to boil water to bring together and tastes much richer than it really is. Make sure the yogurt you use is real and isn’t thickened with questionable stabilizers. In this case full fat yogurt is preferable.

A secret of mine in saving money on quality cheese: buy the rind ends! Usually I buy wedges of Pecorino Romano from Costco. Being a sheep milk cheese it cost a lot less than Parmigiano Reggiano. A lot less. Like nearly half per pound! But sometimes I want the flavor that only a good Parmigiano Reggiano gives. So I wander by the fancy cheese counter – which one of our local grocery stores has, with a cheese monger to boot. They take the ends and sell them in tubs at 50% off the pound price, selling them for use in soups. Well…if you have a tool like a Microplane 42102 Artisan Fine Grater, you can grate them up. Yes, you have to earn the cheese but you could be having top quality pillows of grated cheese for $6 to 8 a lb! And no added preservatives or fillers (remember my lecture about cellulose being added to American made Parmesan cheese? Yuck!) Even better….the store was running a deal on the cheese counter, a $3 coupon off any $3 or more purchase. I found a tub for $3.15. Heehee! Now that is saving money!

Spaghetti with Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes


  • 13.25 ounce package multi-grain spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ lbs zucchini, trimmed, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces small grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced, about 3 Tbsp
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt and ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, add spaghetti and cook for time on package. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high, add the oil and zucchini, sauté until tender and turning golden. Add garlic, sauté for a minute, add the tomatoes and let cook for 2 minutes, until they soften.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add the hot vegetables and toss to coat. Add the spaghetti, toss gently. Add reserved pasta water as needed for a creamy sauce.

Serve with more cheese if desired.

Serves 4.


Smashed Pea Spaghetti

Vibrant green and fresh tasting even on a night where it was snowing outside….frozen peas are one item I always have bags of to use in recipes!

Smashed Pea Spaghetti


  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 16 ounce package frozen green peas, thawed (used no-salt added)
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook for time on package. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta.

In a food processor or work bowl of a high power blender (I used my Ninja 1100) chop the peas up. Add in the ricotta cheese, oil and pepper, process until mostly smooth. Transfer the sauce to a large mixing bowl, stir in the reserved pasta water. Season to taste with salt. Toss with the hot pasta.

Serves 4 to 6.


Quick Balsamic Beef Rigatoni

When I was pregnant with Alistaire I wrote up a number of recipes I had made but never had a chance to post…the next couple of weeks I am going to be catching up on these. I fully admit I have nearly no energy these days. Since a week ago I have made one sad lonely dinner. That is it. I know I will find myself again but finding my rhythm is going to take time so I hope everyone puts up with my writing for awhile. And I do promise baby photos though soon!


Balsamic Beef Rigatoni


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (jarred works well)
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounce can roast beef, drained and shredded (Costco find)
  • 1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dry parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • Parmesan cheese as desired


Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook pasta for time on package, drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the oil until golden, add the garlic and cook for a minute longer. Add the remaining ingredients through the basil. Cover and let cook over medium-low while the pasta cooks (15 minutes is all the sauce needs). Add in the drained pasta and toss to coat, sprinkle on some Parmesan and toss again, serve with more.

Serves 4+.


One Pot Pasta and Cheese

This past week at our libraries annual book sale I came across a copy of Food & Wine Quick From Scratch Pasta Cookbook for 50¢. I couldn’t pass that up! A very pretty cookbook, splashed with full-page color photos, the recipes are amazing (I am a huge fan of Food & Wine recipes, even though I don’t care much for wine…hah. But yet I subscribe to the magazine….!)

I adapted the recipe for Macaroni and Cheese found on page 61, changing the called for ¾ lb of elbow macaroni to a 13.25 ounce box of multigrain corkscrew pasta. The recipe can be adapted to gluten-free as well – the “sauce” has no wheat/gluten, just use your favorite pasta.

No photo, it was past dark once we had a chance to sit down to dinner!

One Pot Pasta and Cheese


  • 13.25 ounce package multigrain pasta shapes
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 8 ounces grated or finely chopped cheddar cheese (used Tillamook)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Couple dashes Tabasco sauce


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cook pasta for time on package, drain.

Return to the hot pan and set over medium-low heat, adding in the rest of the ingredients. Stir until the cheese melts. Season to taste if salt is desired or additional hot sauce.

Serves 3 to 4.


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