The Wonder of One-Pot Pasta

One of the most frustrating responsibilities that comes with being a college student has to be keeping oneself fed. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to have something to do other than coursework, and cooking can offer a great distraction. More often than not, however, it’s the last thing a person wants to do after a full day of school, work, and all the other activities that fill up their day. Suddenly, the process of prepping ingredients, toiling away over the stovetop, and then being left with dishes and the kitchen to clean up afterward makes take-out sound incredibly appealing.

While I don’t always accomplish this goal, I’m a firm believer that people shouldn’t make things harder for themselves than is necessary. This definitely includes cooking. Sure, sometimes there is a dish that you’ve been wanting to try out or have been craving that will require a lot of effort. Those can be saved for days when you have the time or want a break. For those other days where cooking is the last thing on your mind, I suggest going simple. And nothing is simpler than the trend of one-pot pasta.

Pasta, generally, is an easy choice for a college meal. It’s cheap and really hard to mess up. With the one-pot pasta technique, everything becomes as streamlined as possible. These recipes generally consist of only about five ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store and take little effort to prepare. Then, when everything is ready, all you have to do is throw the ingredients into a pot with a couple of cups of water and some uncooked pasta, and let everything cook together. The only tending these dishes really need is some stirring to keep the ingredients from sticking together. When the noodles are done and the liquid has cooked down to an almost non-existent but delicious broth, it’s ready to eat. The entire meal is contained in one pot for storage, and there is a minimal amount of dishes!

It sounds a bit too good to be true, but some delicious recipes come out of this style of cooking. Take, for example, this recipe for carbonara from One-Pot Pasta by Sabrina Fauda-Role:


250 g (9 oz) linguine

200 g (7 oz) smoked lardons – I substitute bacon.

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 eggs

1/2 bunch of chives, snipped

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan + a little more to serve

1 teaspoon rock salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

750 ml (25 fl oz) water



“Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan in the order listed. Cook for approximately 15 minutes over a medium heat, stirring regularly. About 2 cm (3/4 in) of cooking liquid should remain at the end. Serve with grated Parmesan.”

That’s literally the full recipe. There is no more instruction needed, and this dish is absolutely delicious. A simple Google search produces a number of great recipes to try out for yourself. With easy dishes like one-pot pasta recipes, even those of us that can burn cereal have the opportunity to create appetizing and enjoyable meals. Happy cooking!


Images: Cover, 1, 2, 3