You know that feeling when you’re working on something and you’re like 75% sure it’s not going to turn out well for one reason or another? That’s how I felt about this One Pot Bell Pepper and beans Pasta skillet. I should have been more confident, I guess, since the One Pot Pastas whenever I make them, turn out to be better than my imagination. But I still can’t get over the fact that you can cook pasta and beans and a sauce all together in one pot and make it taste good.
Better than good. Amazing, if I do say so myself… Yes, this one-pot pasta skillet is super amazing because every single thing cooks in the same pan. Even the pasta! The starch from the Pasta reduce down with the liquid to make a surprisingly thick and creamy sauce. It’s so easy, it just seems ridiculous.
Anyway, I had no idea where I was going with this meal when I started making it. I just kept turning to S as I pulled ingredients out of the fridge and asking him if I should throw them in. I also kept saying to myself, “I really hope this works,” and humming nervously, but that’s pretty typical kitchen behaviour for me. Do you do that as well?
So there I was, humming and hovering over my pot of pasta, wringing my hands and waiting for disaster, but that disaster never came. Instead, I got a pot full of some of the tastiest pasta I’ve ever had. Roasted red peppers, red kidney beans, spinach, some dried herbs, and garlic flavor make this simple dish, and leave you with a hearty meal that’s as satisfying as realizing you only have one pot to wash after dinner.
This dish is healthy without tasting like health food. It has lots of veggies, black beans, and whole wheat pasta so it’s packed with vitamins/minerals and fiber. If you’re not a fan of whole wheat pasta, regular pasta can be substituted. The main protein source in this pasta is canned black beans. So, it’s perfect for vegetarians and those people that practice Meatless Mondays (going vegetarian one day a week).
I got this recipe from one of my colleagues when she brought over some leftovers after Thanks giving on a Friday. And we enjoyed the same at lunch time with a bottle of bubbly. Well, she had bubbly. I only had Orange juice. Since I take alcohol very rarely, I am always on the lookout for some good non-alcoholic mix which suits the occasion. Though I mostly end up having lemonade anyway.
Talking about drinks, Shloer sent me a bottle of their Pink fizz celebration alcohol-free Bubbly for the Christmas. While I don’t usually like fizzy drinks that much, this one has pretty decent taste. Its served in a celebratory Champagne style bottle with a popping cork to add extra sparkle and theatre to the special occasions. It’s basically a fresh and fruity combination with the vibrant flavours of red and white grape juices fused together to create a beautiful sparkling rosé juice drink. They have another one in the celebration range – a white bubbly which is mix of juices from a variety of white grapes. Well, am taking this bottle with me tonight for the Christmas party, so I won’t have to rely on lemonade this time 🙂 If you also struggle with the limited options under non-alcoholic drink section, here is a new one for you to try on.
- 1 cup whole wheat Fusilli (or any pasta you like)
- 1 medium bell pepper cut into thin strips
- 1 zucchini (courgette) – chopped small
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 1 cup canned tomatoes
- ½cup packed spinach leaves
- 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp mixed seasoning
- A pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp. salt (if the mixed seasoning you use contains a lot of salt, you may want to reduce this)
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ½ – 4 cups of vegetable stock (broth)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup cheese blend, plus more for topping (Optional)
- Heat oil in a skillet (pan/pot). Add minced garlic and fry for half a minute till it starts turning light brown. Add in onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, spinach and any other vegetable you like to add. Cook it for like 5 minutes
- Throw in Pasta, vegetable stock, seasoning into the pan. Stir, cover, and bring to a rolling boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. There should be ¼ to ½ inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot when it is done.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the black beans and cheese (optional). Let it rest for 5 minutes to warm the beans, melt the cheese, and absorb the excess liquid.
- Serve hot with a choice of bread or simply on its own.
- I always use whole wheat pasta by default in whatever I make of it. It is a bit less starchy and slippery in texture so you might want to use the plain pasta specifically for this dish. Since pasta gets cooked with the vegetables, its not as smooth as it would be otherwise.
- If you are using plain pasta (and not whole wheat), you might require a bit less water so start with 3 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. if the pasta looks a bit dry, then add a bit more.
- You may use any other veggies of your choice- like mushrooms, beans, sweet corns etc.
- Adding cheese to this recipe makes it absolutely delicious. I havent used it this time, but most of the time I throw in whichever variety of cheese I have leftover in the fridge. Its just awesome !
- With thanks to Shloer for sending me the bottle of alcohol-free pink Bubbly. All views expressed are my own.