I first saw a version of this recipe on an America’s Test Kitchen episode (love them!) and it looked so good and easy and I just had to make it myself! I have modified their recipe a lot with my own twists, but I loved the main ideas of a one-pot dish that goes from stovetop to oven and that you can cook the pasta with the other ingredients. What a great idea! There are a lot of ways to experiment with this recipe….
-Add meat! I have made this with cooked italian sausage for some extra meatiness and it is delicious and more filling.
-Add mushrooms! Slice or chop up some mushrooms and saute them in butter and add in at the end before baking. This could lend a great depth of flavor and a meaty quality with no meat.
-Make it gluten free! Try using a brown rice pasta instead. I have done this with success and I don’t think my husband or kids even noticed a difference in texture or taste.
– Experiment with different shapes of pasta! The original recipe used ziti which is a great choice. I have used a variety of pasta and have enjoyed them all. Just make sure to adjust your stovetop cooking time based off of the recommendations for your type and brand of pasta. Whatever they suggest for cooking, remove it several minutes before that so that it still retain a little bit of bite, because it will continue cooking when it is baked in the oven.
I chose to cook up some sausage when I made my skillet pasta…. please ignore how dirty my pan looks. Even barkeepers friend doesn’t get it squeaky clean! Time to hint to the hubby I need some real le-creuset….. 😉
Added my spices…. they were feeling shy and didn’t want to be photographed…
And then it was time to add in the liquid… water or chicken broth and a big can of crushed tomatoes
Bring it to a boil, add the pasta in and cook until almost done.
Once the pasta is nearly done you add in your heavy cream, parm, and anything else you want to throw it (like my cooked sausage).
Here’s where I’m pretty silly…. It is a one-pot dish if you have a pot like my dutch oven that is both stove and oven safe. The easiest thing to do is sprinkle on the motzerella cheese and pop it in the oven for 10 mintes and it is done! One dish- viola! So easy!
I somehow don’t like cooking mine in the dutch oven (it is so heavy and takes up more room in my fridge if I’m storing leftovers) so I transferred my pasta to a large casserole dish and then sprinkled with cheese and baked. Same idea, but one more pan to clean. If you are busy and looking to save some time and dish washing, I vote for the one pot concept.
There you have it! Super easy, one pot (unless you are silly like me) and super yummy and if you have leftovers it makes great and easy to reheat lunch the next day. Hooray!