ONE-POT WONDERS Delicious recipes to curl up with
Nathan Adams and Megan Baadjies wax lyrical about the convenience of one-pot wonders
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