A few years ago, I started reading about “one pot pasta” recipes on the internet. I pinned a couple, and was a little curious, but didn’t jump right on the bandwagon. I’ve never really thought of boiling the pasta separately as an overburdensome task. But then I did think about dirty dishes. I do A LOT of dishes, and many of my recipes have been streamlined to dirty as few as possible, so it suddenly seemed like an idea I should explore. My first few attempts, following popular recipes, where underwhelming. After reading all the headlines and recipe titles about “super-easy” and “so simple”, I think in my mind the idea was you could just chuck everything in a pan and wait 20 minutes and voila, dinner! It is not quite as simple as that, as there is some watching the pot involved. And it turns out that what I like about the recipes I have successfully developed is not having one pot to clean or the perceived ease of the dish, but the way the flavor really does permeate the pasta. My first success was this Creamy Gorgonzola One Pot Pastathat is just full of the rich flavor of gorgonzola. I made that so much it got a little predictable. So I decided to adapt one of my favorite simple pasta dishes that I’ve been making with two pots and a bowl. Soft leeks, tangy lemon and creamy goat cheese meld for a sprightly sauce with a touch of sunshine. The lovely lemon flavor really permeates a dish in way that is difficult to achieve in a pour-over sauce.
The secret to creamy one pot pasta is to stir the pot almost constantly, particularly at the end to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. It is a little difficult to stir when the noodles are first go in, but just make sure to keep things moving and at a low boil. Serve this pasta immediately so the sauce retains its luscious creaminess.
Leek, Lemon and Goat Cheese One Pot Pasta
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, light and white green parts only
¼ cup white wine or dry vermouth
Zest of one lemon
Juice of two lemons
4 cups chicken broth
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ pounds spaghetti, broken in half
4 ounces soft goat cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese, divided
Chives for garnish
Slice the leeks in half, then into thin half moons. Rinse well in a colander and shake some of the water off. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven. Add the leeks and sauté until soft and glassy, then add the white. Bring to a bubble and cook until the liquid is evaporated and the leeks are very soft. Add the lemon zest, juice, broth, cream and spaghetti and bring to a low boil. Crumble in the goat cheese and season well with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring very frequently, until the spaghetti is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened, just coating the pasta. Stir in the parmesan cheese and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately garnished with snipped chives.