One Sunday afternoon I was tasked with making lunch for my sister and I, and she requested pasta with kale that we’d bought earlier that week.
Challenge accepted, I thought to myself. I was feeling lazy so I grabbed a cooking pot and got cooking.
One pot cooking is a method that college kids & others have used for ages to reconcile their laziness. It saves cleanup time, and doesn’t mean that your meal has to be boring.
Tip #1: Choose vegetables that still taste great when boiled. Personally, I prefer veggies like spinach, potatoes or asparagus. Make sure that you cut up the veggie large enough that it won’t fall through the holes of a colander.
Tip #2: Amp up flavor with the use of a pan. Okay, so this isn’t one pot cooking then, but hey, what’s another pan? While you can certainly boil sausage, browning it before you combine it with pasta adds another level of flavor. And you can salvage a lot of the flavor that gets left in the pan by cooking meat (think: sausage, bacon, etc.) before you cook bland foods like eggs or potatoes or mushrooms, which only taste flavorful when you add other flavors. This method allows the bland foods to absorb more flavor, while helping clean your pan at the same time.
Follow the basic food pyramid when you try your own variation on a simple pasta dish. Use what you have in your fridge to your advantage, incorporating grains, veggies, protein and healthy fats.
Kale Sausage Parm-Pasta
2 servings pasta, I used spinach brown rice pasta that we got on sale at our grocery store
2 sausages, sliced diagonally – I used smoked chicken + apple sausages from Costco (delish)
2 cups of fresh kale, washed & chopped
1/4 cup parmesan for garnish –> sauce
fried egg with runny yolk –> sauce
Boil a pot of water. Add a large pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil (I use olive oil). Throw your pasta and kale in. Let this boil for 1-2 minutes for putting a lid on it, turning off the heat, and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes on the original burner. (The pasta that I bought suggested this to save energy, and it actually worked)
Meanwhile, chop up your sausage on the diagonal. This is a great trick for broke college kids to create the illusion of larger sausage portions, and it also looks a bit fancy. The chicken sausage that I used is a family favorite, and is very moist and flavorful. Brown the sausage over medium-high heat for ~5 minutes to add some color and get them hot. Set the sausage aside.
Spray your pan with some Pam and fry two eggs, one for you and one for your sister. When they are 70% cooked, turn off the stove and put a lid over the pan, letting them steam and barely set the yolks.
When your pasta is ready, drain it and add it back into the pot. Toss in your sausage, sprinkle in your Parm, and mix it together until the Parm melts in and gets the pasta a ti saucy. Plate, and top with a fried egg. Break the yolk and let it run all over the pasta, doing its sauce thang.
Other one-pot cooking ideas can be found on this Eartheasy page!