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approaching one pot pasta – in the south

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In the south – we are now in Northern Spain … & when roaming on my blog I found this recipe which I adapted somewhat for a dinner. (I worked w/ tortellini, Spanish bacon, white onions … & it was fine!) However, let’s start w/ a streamlined version of the original recipe!

My very 1st encounter w/ one-pot-pasta: my better half & I got a food & wine basket as a present from friends containing among others a package w/ Italian pasta, dried porcini, dried Mediterranean herbs & finely grated parmesan. The instruction said: Put 1000 ml water and 5 tbsp olive oil in a pot or pan, add all ingredients except the parmesan, bring it to a boil and let it cook for about 10 min. Stir once in a while. When the water is soaked up and you think it’s too dry just add some cream (if you like). Serve with parmesan. Enjoy!

I did as requested & we had a nice pasta dish gaining its flavour mainly from the porcini.

Afterwards I started roaming my cookbooks (bad luck!) & Internet food blogs (success!) looking for one-pot-pasta recipes & experiences on the matter. It wasn’t a chorus of praise nor was the idea pulled to pieces. So I decided to start my own test series w/ regard of the creation process as well as the overall result in flavours, tastiness & good looks.

Today we start w/ a simple pasta dish based on mushrooms & bacon.

What do we need?

  • pasta – of course: small macaroni (aka maccheroni)
  • water
  • fresh mushrooms
  • bacon
  • spring onions
  • dried parsley
  • cloves of garlic
  • freshly grated pecorino.

Start w/ chopping the ingredients. (If you happen to have grated pecorino in your fridge: fine – otherwise start grating.)

Splash some olive oil in a pan, press the garlic & add the spring onions & the bacon. Fry the mess for some minutes. Then add the mushrooms & fry for some more minutes.

Now it’s time for the pasta. Just dump the pasta in the pan, add hot water & parsley.

Bring it to a boil & let it cook for about 8-10 min until the water is almost gone. Add the grated pecorino & stir thoroughly to combine the hot ingredients w/ the pecorino.


The pasta is soft (or al dente if you like…), it’s creamy because of the melted pecorino leaving its characteristic sharp edge, mushrooms & spring onions are well cooked, the bacon is soft & fills the dish w/ its delicate meaty flavour.

Don’t forget to serve w/ additional pecorino!

Let me add some insights:

  • It worked.
  • The ingredients stuck to their flavours.
  • Nothing was watery or mushy or overcooked …
  • The pasta was fine – I like it rather soft, but I also succeeded in creating a more al dente pasta by using less water (about 10-20%).
  • The grated pecorino made a fine creamy finish – there was no need to add any cream or whatever.

I’d also like to mention some insights concerning pasta.

I always use Italian durum wheat pasta (w/o eggs) & I’m sure you know that there are lots of forms & shapes. This is the point where it gets a little tricky. You cannot use all pasta forms for one-pot-pasta:

  • Stay away from any big forms like rigatoni, tortiglioni, farfalle, tagliatelle, cellentani … – always!
    (Unwanted result: pasta is very al dente or pasta is fine, but everything else is mushy!)
  • Better choose (short) macaroni, spaghetti, (very thin) taglierini, (small) girandole, ricciole

In the pot there must be some sort of equilibrium: pasta vs. vegetables, meat/fisch/seafood vs. water/stock. If you use too much water/stock because of the big chunky pasta, the rest may get too soft & loose their flavours. On the other hand if it’s not enough water/stock the pasta stays uncooked …

… & well – yes: instead of water you may also use some stock. Concerning our pasta dish, however, it’s not necessary because of the strong bacon flavour.

… & at the end: there is only the pan to be cleaned!


approaching one pot pasta – in the south
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Servings: 2
  • 150 g pasta (macaroni aka maccheroni – the short ones)
  • 100 g mushrooms
  • 4-5 spring onions
  • 50 g bacon (South Tyrolean bacon)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 500 ml hot water (from the tap)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated pecorino (about 25 g)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • some more freshly grated pecorino for serving (optional)
how to:
  • Grate the pecorino.
  • Chop the bacon & the spring onions.
  • Cut the mushrooms into thin slices.
  • Add olive oil, pressed garlic, chopped spring onions & chopped bacon to a pan.
  • Fry for about 3-4 min until soft; don’t burn the mess.
  • Add thinly sliced mushrooms & fry for another 3-4 min.
  • Add pasta & hot water & dried parsley.
  • Mix well & add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Cook for about 8-10 min until the water has almost vanished & the pasta is al dente resp. soft.
  • Add the grated pecorino & mix well – cook for 1-2 min until the pecorino melts into the last of the water.
  • Serve at once – together w/ more freshly grated pecorino.
Pasta: You may use any pasta alike macaroni.
Pecorino: Feel free to replace by grated parmesan.
If you use less water (about 400 ml) the pasta is more al dente … if you like. However, you’ll always need some water to melt the cheese with.
The pasta is best served at once, but you may store it for some hours or even overnight & reheat in the microwave if necessary.