ONE-POT WON­DERS De­li­cious recipes to curl up with

Nathan Adams and Me­gan Baad­jies wax lyri­cal about the con­ve­nience of one-pot won­ders

Sunday Tribune - - FOOD -

TIME is a lux­ury not many of us have and after a long day at the of­fice cook­ing can be bit of a schlep, that’s why one-pot meals makes for a per­fect sup­per.

It’s all in the name, ev­ery­thing goes into one-pot and be­fore you know it, din­ner is ready.

A one-pot meal can be a life­saver in the kitchen, but it’s more than that – it’s a fullflavoured meal that de­liv­ers on com­fort and ease.

Stews and pas­tas are a go-to for work­ing moms and any­one look­ing to feed a large group of friends. It’s also a great op­tion if you’re work­ing on a bud­get and need to get the most out of your in­gre­di­ents.

One-pot won­ders don’t have to be that grudge meal for the per­son pre­par­ing it, or those who have to en­joy the meal. It does con­jure up im­ages of stews with sparse in­gre­di­ents or cur­ries that have a very thin sauce.

But these days there is so much more you can do with one-pot meals. One-pot meals are the best items to ex­per­i­ment with, from the in­gre­di­ents to the spices and the sauce.

It is that time of year when our taste buds crave warm com­fort meals, ones that are also con­ve­nient, and most one-pot meals tick all those boxes.

Less is more with this style of cook­ing to al­low each of the flavours and in­gre­di­ents to stand out. Left­overs are eas­ily stored in the fridge, and be­cause only one pot is used, there is no clut­ter. An­other bonus is the time saved.

There is much to love about one-pot cook­ing and less time in the kitchen means more time for the things and peo­ple who mat­ter. 4 serv­ings (makes about 7 cups)

THIS is best made right be­fore serv­ing, but left­overs may be re­heated in a heavy pot over low heat or in a 180°C oven in a cov­ered casse­role.

The pasta will have ab­sorbed most of the liq­uid, so add only enough wa­ter to make the dish a lit­tle soupy, taste again for sea­son­ing, and stir pe­ri­od­i­cally as it heats through.

1 cup dried brown lentils

6 cups wa­ter, or more as needed 2 large cloves gar­lic, minced 1 small dried chilli pep­per, bro­ken into pieces, or ½ tsp crushed red pep­per flakes, or more as needed

¼ cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, plus more for serv­ing

1½ tsp sea salt, or more as needed

350g dried pasta, prefer­ably a small shape such as gnoc­chette, di­tal­ini, orec­chi­ette or ca­vatelli; or break spaghetti into 3cm pieces

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Pour the lentils into a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven and add the wa­ter (to cover); bring to a boil over high heat, then re­duce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 min­utes.

Un­cover; stir in the gar­lic, chilli pieces and the oil, then cover and cook for 5 min­utes.

Stir in the salt and the pasta, cover and cook un­til al dente, stir­ring reg­u­larly to keep the pasta from stick­ing and ad­just­ing the heat as needed to main­tain a min­i­mum of bub­bling.

De­pend­ing on the pasta va­ri­ety, the cook­ing time may take about 5 min­utes longer than in­di­cated on the pack­age, so be­gin tast­ing the pasta once the sug­gested cook­ing time has elapsed.

Con­tinue tast­ing ev­ery minute or two un­til it is cooked through but still firm. The re­sult­ing dish should re­sem­ble a thick soup; if the mix­ture seems too dry, add a lit­tle wa­ter to reach the de­sired tex­ture, keep­ing in mind the pasta will con­tinue to ab­sorb liq­uid as it cools.

Once the pasta is done, add the thyme. Taste and add more salt, as needed. Cover and let the mix­ture sit for 2 to 3 min­utes, then un­cover and driz­zle with a lit­tle more oil just be­fore serv­ing, if de­sired. – Emily Hor­ton, Wash­ing­ton Post

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