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One-Pot Pastas for Spring

Seasonal ingredients bring maximum flavor and minimum mess to weeknight-friendly pasta dishes.

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One thing I definitely like more than cooking is not having to do a ton of dishes. I also love pasta. That’s why I like to combine my two realities with one-pot pastas, prepared in the style of risotto.

Risotto-style pasta is a little more hands on than the traditional method of dropping some spaghetti in a pot of boiling water and giving it the occasional stir, but it’s also not as much of an arm workout as risotto. (Sorry, I can’t free you from those planks!) Like most pastas, these dishes cook quickly—making them weeknight- and family-friendly—and feature small pasta shapes and sizes (think orzo or acini de pepe).

I also find risotto-style pasta to be a great opportunity to take advantage of seasonal ingredients. After a cold, snowy winter, I’m more than ready to dig into spring produce.

I pair spring peas with always-reliable cherry tomatoes and farfalle for one favorite dish, and for another I toss acini de pepe with asparagus and arugula-pistachio pesto. (That pesto, incidentally, is super versatile. Trust me when I say you’ll find dozens of other ways to use it.) I also like a couple of other classic combinations: earthy mushroom and caramelized onions, which I pair with orzo, and bitter broccoli rabe and spicy Italian sausage, which I team with twisted strands of gemelli.

Once you get the hang of making these pastas, you’ll be able to riff throughout the year with whatever produce is in season. And after you’ve put away that one pan, enjoy all your extra time. You can thank me later.

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