My husband has flown the coop this week to escape the heat by circumnavigating Lake Superior. I am escaping the heat by going to my lower-level studio, where it's always ten degrees cooler just by walking down the flight of stairs. But that leaves me fending for myself in the kitchen.
Whenever you cook for one there's a temptation to cut corners, get by with a minimum of preparation (and that usually means a minimum of nutritional value, if you don't count a pint of ice cream straight out of the container). But I'm trying to eat my vegetables and fix real food this week. Here's my one-pot pasta meal -- no more dirty dishes than opening a can of Campbell's soup, and a lot tastier.
Start with a saucepan, just as if you were fixing Campbell's soup. I had half a red pepper in the fridge, so I sauted it in a bit of olive oil, then added the dry pasta and liquid to cover it.
Hot water is fine; chicken broth or wine is even better. Cook at a bit less than a boil until the pasta is almost done.
At the last minute I added some zucchetta sliced very thin, and then the coup de grace -- some leftover pesto. Pesto always needs a fair amount of liquid to turn it from a paste into a sauce. The classic method is to get a half cup of liquid out of the boiling pasta pot, then stir it into the pesto. But since I wasn't boiling my pasta, I just made sure there was plenty of liquid in the saucepan and stirred the pesto in.
A bit of grated cheese to finish the dish off, and it was delicious.