A person could log hours of search time online with “one-pan” or “one-pot” between the quote marks. We’re led to believe such recipes have gotten so crazy popular because cooks are looking to do less cleanup, especially on weeknights.
We’re all for making things easy, but when dried pasta is involved, the trade-off is often gummy noodles or a bland-tasting sauce. Neither one of those happens here, however.
Make sure all the pasta is submerged for cooking; if that means tamping it down with a spatula or adding a touch more water, the dish can handle it.
Instead of tossing all the ingredients in together, as in the original recipe, we used the olive oil to saute the shallot and bacon for a few minutes first, to coax out their flavor and create more texture. Sage complements the cubes of sweet potato, which become almost creamy by the time the final flourish of cheese goes on, but we liked using fresh tarragon as well.
One-Pot Sweet Potato and Bacon Pasta
4 to 6 servings
You could toss in a cup of frozen green peas once the water comes to a boil. Or serve this pasta with a shaved fennel salad.
Adapted from a recipe at HelloWonderful.co.
1 large sweet potato (10 to 12 ounces)
1 large shallot
One 6-ounce chunk bacon (may substitute thick-cut sliced bacon)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces dried rigatoni pasta (may substitute dried penne)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
3 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Several fresh sage leaves or 2 stems tarragon
Peel the sweet potato, then cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
Peel the shallot, then cut it crosswise into very thin slices.
Trim much of the fat off the bacon, then cut the bacon into pieces slightly larger than pea-size.
Heat the oil in a wide, deep saute pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until some of them just begin to crisp. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring a few times to avoid scorching.
Add the pasta, spreading it evenly, then the sweet potato cubes. Use a wooden spoon to stir until evenly coated, then add the salt and a generous sprinkling of pepper. Pour in the water; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the pasta and sweet potato are tender. Turn off the heat.
Just before serving, scatter half the cheese over the top. Hold the herbs over the pot and use kitchen scissors to snip them into small pieces, letting them fall into the pasta. Give the whole thing a good stir, then finish with the remaining cheese. (The more you stir, the creamier the sweet potatoes will become.) Taste, and add salt, as needed.
Nutrition | Per serving (based on 6): 370 calories, 13 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar