One-pot pasta is kind of an ideal cooking situation. The uncooked pasta and all the other ingredients basically cook in the sauce, which means that every little bit is permeated with flavor. (It also means there’s only one dish to clean up, which is always fine by me.) With plenty of Italian sausage, peppery arugula, bright tomatoes, and a little extra help from herbaceous fennel seeds, I feel like this particular one-pot pasta is the holy grail of one-pot meals. Flavorful enough that it tastes like it’s been slow cooking all day long, it really only takes you twenty minutes to put on the table.
This dish works in a skillet or a large pot, so feel free to use whatever suits your fancy. You start by browning the sausage, bell pepper, and red onion until the veggies are tender and the meat has cooked through. (If you use a pre-cooked sausage, this step goes extra fast, but either one works.) Throw in some garlic cloves and let them hang out until they’re nice and fragrant.
Then you start to build the sauce. Tomato paste goes in first, which adds a more deep and nuanced tomato flavor. It’s followed by diced tomatoes, which add a brighter note and fennel seed, which echoes some of the herbs in the sausage.
The broth and the uncooked pasta go in, the lid goes on, and in just about ten minutes, the pasta is tender and all of the flavors have come together beautifully. For the final touch, fresh arugula is stirred in where it wilts just enough from the residual heat and lends an herby, peppery note to every bite.
One Pot Sausage & Arugula Pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb hot or sweet Italian sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick or crumbled
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
- 8 oz medium pasta such as gemelli or penne
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 3 cups baby arugula
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, and red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions and pepper are tender and sausage is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute more.
- Stir in tomato paste and let cook briefly, about 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and fennel seed, if using.
- Stir in pasta and broth. Cover with lid and cook until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in Parmesan cheese and arugula. Season to taste and serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.