This is my favourite dinner right now so I’m happy to share the recipe with you! It’s super easy to make since you just throw everything into one pot and let it cook. As an added bonus, it’s easy to clean up. Why create more dishes when you don’t have to? 🙂
If you watched my video about our first day living in our tiny house, at the end of the video we enjoyed a big pot of pasta for our dinner. This is the recipe for that pasta with a few minor changes to make the recipe free from plastic packaging.
A plastic-free kitchen
All of my recipes from this point on will only contain ingredients that are available to us without plastic packaging. 🙂
Barilla used to be our favourite pasta brand but for some reason, their boxes contain a little unrecyclable plastic window. Other pasta brands come packed in plastic bags so I figured I’d have to make pasta from scratch if we ever wanted to eat pasta again. Unfortunately, we can’t find pasta sold in bulk bins where we live.
I’ll still learn to make pasta from scratch, but in the meantime, we found some cannelloni noodles packaged in a plain box. Hooray!
We crush the noodles into smaller pieces before adding them to the pot. If you can find pasta packaged without plastic (or better yet—in bulk bins!) feel free to use that instead.
We tried this recipe with lasagna noodles but they didn’t work as well. They clumped together even though I stirred the pasta continuously. The noodles we used were completely flat so I’m not sure how lasagna noodles with ruffled edges would work. Let me know if you try them. 🙂
How to make
Besides pasta, you’ll need carrots, cucumber (or a handful of mushrooms), leek, garlic, 3-4 tomatoes (or a can of diced tomatoes), tomato paste, curry powder, dried oregano, marjoram (or thyme), basil, black pepper, soy sauce (or salt) and a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice.
If you have the time and a blender or grinder, try making your own curry powder. Homemade curry powder smells amazing and tastes way better than a pre-mixed one from a shop. I recommend Vegan Richa’s recipe for curry powder and garam masala. You’ll never go back to the store-bought blends. 🙂
Place sliced carrots, cucumber (or mushrooms), leek, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 8 cups of water and all of the seasonings (except soy sauce, salt, and lemon juice) into a large pot. Stir, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once it’s boiling, add the pasta and stir. Reduce the heat if it boils too wildly. Cook for 15 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. If you’re using crushed cannelloni noodles, you’ll need to stir more often so the noodles don’t stick together. Regular pasta only needs to be stirred once in a while.
Turn off the heat, stir in 2 tbsp soy sauce (or 1 tsp coarse salt to taste) and 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice if you used fresh tomatoes. Stir well, cover and let rest for 15 minutes before digging in.
Canned tomatoes or fresh?
This recipe can be made with canned diced tomatoes if you can’t be bothered to deal with the fresh ones. I actually prefer the taste of canned tomatoes but we’re really trying to avoid using cans as much as possible. There’s nothing wrong with using cans (they are infinitely recyclable) but we like to eat pasta or rice with a vegetable-packed tomato sauce every single night. That means we’d go through seven cans of diced tomatoes a week. That’s too much rubbish for me. I just don’t want to deal with it!
Now we use 3-4 fresh tomatoes or however many can fit into our metal bowl. We like to remove their skins but it isn’t necessary. (Some people don’t like the texture and/or have trouble digesting the skins.) If you want to learn how to remove them, check out this how-to by thekitchn.com: There’s Only One Way To Skin A Tomato.
Stir in lemon juice to the pot at the end of cooking if you use fresh tomatoes. Lemon juice is typically added to canned tomatoes (as part of the canning process) so a little freshly squeezed lemon juice rounds out this dish nicely.
modify this recipe as you like
You can make one-pot pasta with any mix of vegetables. Try adding your favourites and let me know what combinations you enjoy the most. 🙂
I like two versions of this pasta: one with mushrooms and the other with cucumber. I tend to prefer the cucumber version more but don’t really like having both cucumber AND mushrooms in one pot since mushrooms overpower everything (in my opinion).
We can no longer buy soy sauce in bulk so for now, I season it with a teaspoon of red salt instead. It works well but it isn’t quite the same as soy sauce. If you can buy soy sauce in bulk, stock up and enjoy it for me! 😉
For a variation, try adding a half cup of dried lentils (small red or yellow ones) or a jar of chickpeas. You can also use vegetable broth for some or all of the water if you can’t find vegetable broth powder. If you want to skip pasta entirely, use half the amount of water and serve it as a sauce along with rice, potatoes, or your favourite starch.
Thanks to Kuba for helping me take photos for this blog post and for prepping all of the ingredients!
One-Pot Pasta with Cannelloni Noodles
This is one of our favourite dinners. It's heavy on the noodles (my kind of meal) and all the ingredients can be purchased with little to no packaging. Win-win!
- 2 carrots, sliced or diced
- 1 cucumber, sliced or diced (or a handful of mushrooms, sliced—see notes)
- 1 leek, thinly sliced (or 1/2 tsp onion flakes)
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 4 small tomatoes, diced (skins removed—optional) (or use 1 can diced tomatoes)
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 8 cups water (or vegetable broth for some of all of the water)
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable broth powder (optional)
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp marjoram or thyme, dried
- 1/2 tsp basil, dried
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 250 g pasta noodles, dried (I use crushed cannelloni noodles)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (or 1 tsp coarse salt to taste)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (only if using fresh tomatoes)
Place sliced carrots, cucumber (or mushrooms), leek, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, 8 cups of water and all seasonings (except soy sauce, salt, and lemon juice) into a large pot. Stir, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once it's boiling, add pasta and stir. Reduce heat if it boils too wildly. Cook for 15 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. If you're using crushed cannelloni noodles, you'll need to stir more often so the noodles don't stick together. Regular pasta only needs to be stirred once in a while.
Turn off the heat, stir in 2 tbsp soy sauce (or 1 tsp coarse salt to taste) and 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (if you used fresh tomatoes). Stir well, cover and let rest for 15 minutes before digging in.
- This pasta is great with or without mushrooms. I tend to prefer the cucumber version more, but don't really like having both cucumber AND mushrooms in one pot since mushrooms overpower everything (in my opinion).
- If you can't be bothered to remove the tomato skins, don't worry about it. Some people don't like the texture. If you want to learn how to remove them, check out this how-to by thekitchn.com: There's Only One Way To Skin A Tomato.
- If you do remove the skins, don't discard the soak water. Add it straight into the pot.
- Add lemon juice at the end of cooking if you use fresh tomatoes.
- I used cannelloni noodles because it's one of the only kinds of pasta I can find in a plastic-free box. Lasagna noodles don't work as well because they clump together. (I will also try making pasta from scratch so stay tuned for that recipe!)
- Feel free to add 1/2 c. dried lentils (small red or yellow ones) or a jar of chickpeas.
- You can use vegetable broth for some or all of the water.
- This recipe will work with any mix of vegetables. Try adding your favourites!
- Use half the amount of water if you want to serve it as a sauce (along with rice, potatoes, or your favourite starch.)