Asparagus, tomato and prosciutto pasta – seriously delicious pasta dinner full of favor combining garlic, herbs, tomatoes and prosciutto. Not too mention it is oh so easy all prepared in one pot. You will want to add this to your weekly dinner plans!
My Great One Pot Pasta Experiment.
One pot pasta recipes are currently ruling the Internet. Like most of you, these recipes constantly pique my interest. Adding all of your ingredients into one pot and allowing to cook together seems almost too good to be true. I love pasta, I love quick dinners, and most importantly I hate doing dishes. With that list it seems as though one pot pasta recipes and I should be the best of friends.
But to be honest we have never really clicked.
Why not? Truly I haven’t been 100% sure. I tried a few different recipes and played around with my own creations, they were good but I wasn’t buying into the hype of one pot pasta.
For example if you search the internet for one pot mac and cheese there will be thousands of recipes (to be exact over 2 million hits on Google). Even Martha Stewart has jumped on the bandwagon. Given my love of mac and cheese I was ready to jump on this bandwagon. But to my disappointment it did not satisfy my mac and cheese craving. For me and my crazy foodie ways homemade mac and cheese needs to be baked. It just does, anything else… well I will just stick with good old Kraft Dinner aka the original one pot dinner.
Aside from one pot mac and cheese recipes I’ve tried a few other one pot pasta recipes with mixed success rates. My attempts at one pot pastas were all right, but most recipes got filed under the ‘will not make again’ category and definitely not something I would share with all of you. However, I couldn’t escape the fact that one pot pasta is such an easy meal – convenient and ready very quickly. With the promise of having dinner on the table in 15 – 20 minutes you cannot argue with that timing. Especially on a Tuesday night.
It took some thought about what wasn’t clicking for me. At first I considered it was because most were lacking in the taste department, but that could be easily corrected with kicking up the amount of spices and herbs I was adding into the pot. But it wasn’t just the taste, there was something else that wasn’t clicking for me. Then a little lightbulb went off…
The texture. Eureka! It was the texture of the one pot pastas that wasn’t working for me.
You see I am fairly picky about the texture of the foods. Most of the food I do not like, it is often actually because of the texture, not the taste. And I’m very particular about having a good balance of textures on the plate. Silly I know, but we all have our quirks! And with my previous one pot pasta attempts they all seemed to have a similar texture – soft.
With the mystery solved it left me with the dilemma of liking the idea of one pot pasta, but not crazy with the results. So I have come up with two solutions…
- No One Pot Mac & Cheese Recipes. For me they are (literally) off the table. If I am going to make mac and cheese then I’m going to take the time and make it right – baked in the oven with oooey gooey cheese, crispy edges, and a little crunch from the panko topping. But for the record Kraft Dinner is still okay!
- Vegetables Must Be Fresh & Pan Fried. A simple solution for my key problem. Using frozen vegetables and cooking them in the liquid with the pasta just wasn’t working for me. Swapping out frozen vegetables for fresh vegetables and pan frying them first makes a big difference in the texture and flavor of the dish for just a little extra time.
With my solutions in hand I offer up one pot Asparagus, Tomato and Prosciutto Pasta. It has tons of flavor from the amped up spices and clove of garlic I tossed into the pot, and a nice contrasting crunch from the crispy prosciutto and pan fried asparagus. The results of my one pot pasta experience – let me just say, oh my seriously delicious! A recipe that is definitely filed under make again (and again!).
- 4 slices prosciutto, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 cups dried corkscrew pasta
- 1 clove of garlic, smashed
- ¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat skillet (with lid) over medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook until crispy, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan and cook asparagus pieces for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, then remove from pan and set aside.
- Add tomatoes, water, sugar, Italian seasoning, red chilli flakes and pasta into skillet and mix well. Add in smashed garlic clove, cover with the lid and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 12 minutes.
- Add cooked asparagus pieces and simmer for additional 3 minutes covered.
- Remove from heat, and remove garlic. Stir in parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix in cooked prosciutto pieces and serve.