During the last year again and again whereever You look around in social networks as well as in food articles You found it: Martha Stewart’s “Ultimate One-Pot Wonder”. Actually again at her FB-Page praised with the words:
“Using only one pan and 30 minutes of your day, it’s no surprise that this is our favorite pasta recipe, ever.”
Adding the link to the recipe.
Any time I find it – her own or some blogger’s posts when cooking it and writing about it – I feel the need to respond. And to contradict Martha Stewart and those bloggers who celebrate that recipe as a “wonder” and as a favorite pasta recipe.
Honestly! Is THAT the way to celebrate pasta and culture of italian cooking and cooking pasta the favorite kind to do?
There’s a reason why they cook their pasta al dente in few minutes depending on the pasta shape in Italy. Why they don’t do it in 30 minutes with all ingredients and even with basil (!) in one pot.
Basil’s flavour lost that way and the rest of the recipe cuts a sorry figure trying to win fans with the promise of doing it easily and allegedly in short time of 30 (sic!) minutes. 30 minutes are more than most of many pasta recipes take time to prepare ingredients, to cook and to serve them. Some pasta takes only 3 minutes to become al dente, other takes up to 10 minutes. At average most of pasta shapes need roundabout 8 minutes. While cooking the pasta it is easy to wash, cut and prepare the other ingredients for the recipe.
We are not talking about the fact that there are thousands of one pot recipes, especially for cold or winter days, for cabbage and potatoes and stew and boeuf and many more amazing ingredients. All taking benefit from the time they need to cook, braise and to do it together in one pot.
And we are not talking about a wonderful bolognese, cooking 2 or 3 hours – that’s another matter altogether talking about classic italian pasta recipes! And of course You might also take about an hour for an amazing italian tomato sauce. But that’s not the topic with that one pot pasta hype. A hype disregarding the main thing and ingredient food deserves: Cooking as well as eating is pleasure and free time – not a burden of work and waste of time. The “one pot pasta wonder” pretends to be better as cooking pasta the classic way pasta.
- Because it’s easier? Not really.
- Faster done? Au contraire! It needs 30 minutes.
- Better taste? Not at all the basil lost it’s flavour if You put it into the pot from the beginning instead of adding it at the end.
- Texture of the pasta and other ingredients? A pasta overdone instead of cooked al dente?
- Because You have only one pot doing the dishes? Oh hell, You might need a second pot for the sauce and to wash it up afterwards? What a burden!
To do a lovely pasta recipe You don’t need more than about 10 to 15 minutes and with better tasting and flavoured result and pasta al dente. Whether during the office lunch break or at home. Many of my recipes and hundreds more of recipes of pasta fans are best proof You wouldn’t even need more than about 15 to 20 minutes. Those are 2 of the secrets why pasta is one of the most loved ingredients and basics: Few ingredients needed to make a meal with it. and already few time to cook the pasta al dente.
And again: Honestly – is that the way to celebrate what we try to educate children and people since long time? While trying to plead for taking the time for one of the most important daily moments and our health, at the end: Time to buy fresh and food of better quality, use it the freshest way possible, treat it the way it’s taste and flavour may enrich recipes and food optimally. Taking the time to cook as a time already to relax before serving the lunch or dinner and before eating it. Eating it — again with time and pleasure. After the moments of preparing it, smelling, tasting food and a meal with Your senses while cooking. Tickling Your senses and appetizing, making You and Your stomach ready to enjoy it. This a part of healthy eating, too! And then……….tasting texture, flavours, ingredients…….with pleasure.
Instead of praising a somehow “instant” 30 minutes-to-do-one-pot-wonder-of-pasta-recipe ………..
How do YOU think about it – is that really the favorite one pot wonder how to cook and celebrate italian pasta and italian style of life we love and which lives from a manner of slow food and pleasure to cook and eat and treat food?
Let me know – You may add Your own opinion and answers!