I'm wondering about this recipe.

enter image description here

It tempts me because I'm really lazy. But I'm skeptical because I've always been taught to sauté onions first, then progressively add other ingredients, starting with those that take longer to cook, and saving water for the end. For example when I cook lentil curry, it's onions, garlic, carrots, wait a bit, tomatoes, wait a bit, and finally lentils, water, and perhaps potatoes. This way the onions (and to varying degrees carrots and tomatoes) get a nice 'roasted' flavour which they wouldn't get just being boiled from raw. Is my intuition correct? Does the linked recipe work anyway because of a specific combination of ingredients?

1 Answer 1


Ah, One Pot Pasta....

As loads of bloggers, authors and cooks - possibly inspired by Martha Stewart and her team - have confirmed: dumping the pasta, sauce ingredients and a carefully meassured amount of liquid in one pot or pan will give you a "pasta and sauce" dish in ten to fifteen minutes.

And it works. Sort of.

Your instinct matches my experience: when you omit the sautéing or slow roasting of ingredients you are missing the flavour compounds that this step creates, likewise if your recipe stews the sauce for a long time. So while all ingredients in one pot pasta will be cooked, due to cutting everything to the appropriate size, the flavour will be different from what your traditional method creates.

If you expect one pot pasta to taste like your traditional recipe, you will probably be disappointed. If you are simply aiming for a creative, hassle-free quick dish, go for it.

  • Yes, it works but is definitely not the same. It should be noted that there are also various traditional recipes where onions are deliberately boiled raw to avoid getting the sweet-smoky flavour of sauted onions. I know several thai soups that do this. So it's not an invalid technique. Just different.
    – slebetman
    Apr 30, 2016 at 23:36
  • The gif surely is of a "creative" dish, but hassle free? Cleaning and cutting four types of vegetables instead of just putting that pesto on the pasta seems like more hassle to me.
    – Agos
    May 5, 2016 at 9:00
  • @Agos - Well, OP is asking for cooking method and there "dump everything in at the same time" beats "add ingredients and sauté step by step". Of course Spaghetti aglio e olio or Spaghetti al pesto are simpler - unless you make the pesto yourself.
    – Stephie
    May 5, 2016 at 9:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.