One Dish Wonder

18 Feb

Dirty dishes. I don’t like doing them. But since I love to cook, dishes happen. So when I can cut down on some dishes, well, that is a worthy goal! Sometimes I make a one dish dinner. Less dishes. Goal achieved.

I made a very robust pasta dishes that covered the bases for a yummy satisfying dinner. I chopped up an onion. I like a sweet Vidalia onion-but any onion you like will do.


Next I chopped up some celery. I use every inch of the celery stalk, including the leaves. Yum! Don’t waste a tiny tidbit of flavor!


I put the onion and celery into my big green pot. I heated up a few tablespoons of olive oil first, and let the veggies cook a tiny bit.


Then I added some chopped garlic. You want your garlic sweet and nutty, so I added it with the beef (it can burn easily). By the way, you could add whatever protein you have around, like ground turkey or pork, but tonight, high quality ground beef was what was on hand. Don’t forget to sprinkle a little salt and pepper into the pot as you layer your flavors.


It only takes a few minutes over medium heat to get the meat brown. At this point, I used a few paper towels to sop up some of the rendered fat-being very careful not to get burned.

Onto the next step. With the beef brown and the veggies soft and succulent, I added some tomatoes. I used petite diced, but canned stewed tomatoes would also be an excellent addition here. Helpful int here-tomatoes add delightful acidity to a dish, but I usually sprinkle just a touch of white sugar in when I cook with canned tomatoes. It balances the acidity.


And just to jazz up the flavor a bit, I stirred in some basil, oregano, parsley and (oh do I love a little heat!!) some red pepper flakes.


The flavors came together as this simmered for a bit over a medium low heat. The delicious aromas were filling the house with a warm “this is home” feeling. Mouthwatering scents wafted about, and I started to get really hungry!


This was going to be a hearty pasta dish but I had zero interest in making more dishes. No, this pasta was going into my big green pot with the vegetables. Since the tortellini I had on hand needed some liquid to cook in, I added some broth to the pot.


When the broth was good and bubbling away, I added tortellini. I gave that all a couple of good stirs, and let my one pot dinner simmer its way to greatness. It only took a couple of minutes for the pasta to cook to perfection-that is the beauty of using refrigerated pasta.


I keep an herb garden, so I picked some basil and did a quick chop of the leaves. The fresh basil and some roughly grated parmesan cheese made just the right garnish.


I served this in a pasta bowl and Voila! An easy one pot dinner was on the table. Now how easy is that!


I could have added some arugula, spinach, mushrooms, or any number of other vegetables to further customize this dish. I used what I had in my pantry and fridge that day.  It was simple, hearty, and left very little clean up. Goal achieved. Oh, and did I mention that there were incredible leftovers for lunch the next day?

Let me know what one pot meals you are making, For more food tips, follow me on twitter @amykgarman, and find me on facebook at Amy M Klingele. Food is fun!

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