If you despise doing dishes but love big, hearty meals, listen closely: These one-pot recipes are your ticket to simple yet impressive meals all winter long.
The idea of cooking everything together has undeniable appeal.
It is fascinating how every single ingredient can retain its flavour and fragrance and, at the same time, complement other ingredients.
One pot is a quick solution to elaborate dishes.
Spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and kale
450g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 lemons, zested
¼ cup plus 3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch kale or spinach, leaves only, washed and chopped
Parmesan, for serving
Bring just over 1 litre of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, place spaghetti, tomatoes, lemon zest, oil and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a large, dry, shallow pan. (The pan should be large enough that the dry spaghetti can lie flat.)
Carefully add the boiling water to the pan with the spaghetti.
Cover the pan, and bring up to a boil. Remove the lid and simmer for about 6 minutes, using tongs to move the spaghetti around now and then so it doesn’t stick.
Add kale or spinach and continue cooking until the remaining liquid has reduced to a sauce and the pasta is cooked through.
Taste, season with salt and pepper, and top with Parmesan.
1 pack 5-piece chicken braai pack
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
1½ cups rice
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and milled pepper
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped and extra for serving
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
2 soft-boiled eggs
Sear chicken in a large frying pan with one tablespoon of oil until golden brown.
Add garlic and ½ the onion and sauté until soft.
Add curry powder and cumin seeds and fry until fragrant.
Stir in rice and sauté for 5 minutes, ensuring the rice is completely coated in spices and oil.
Add stock and cover.
Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked for about 20 minutes. Season and stir through coriander and peas.
Fry remaining onion in vegetable oil at medium to low heat until golden brown and crispy.
Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve biryani topped with crispy onion, soft-boiled egg, and extra coriander.
Sausage and vegetable casserole
3 medium sweet potatoes
9 baby turnips
2 red onions, cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic, cut in half
30ml olive oil
salt and pepper
2 x 500g pork sausages
250ml chicken stock
15ml red wine vinegar
200g spinach, chopped
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the oven to 200°C. In a large roasting pan, combine the sweet potatoes, turnips, red onion, garlic, and olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and place sausages on top of the vegetables.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and stir in the chicken stock, red wine vinegar, spinach, and beans. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
Pasta and lentils
1 cup dried brown lentils
6 cups water, or more as needed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small dried chilli pepper, broken into pieces, or ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 ½ tsp sea salt, or more as needed
350g dried pasta, preferably a small shape such as gnocchette, ditalini, orecchiette, or cavatelli; or break spaghetti into 3cm pieces
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Pour the lentils into a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven and add the water (to cover); bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Uncover; stir in the garlic, chilli pieces, and the oil, then cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the salt and the pasta, cover, and cook until al dente, stirring regularly to keep the pasta from sticking and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a minimum of bubbling. Depending on the pasta variety, the cooking time may take about 5 minutes longer than indicated on the package, so begin tasting the pasta once the suggested cooking time has elapsed. Continue tasting every minute or two until it is cooked through but still firm.
The resulting dish should resemble a thick soup; if the mixture seems too dry, add a little water to reach the desired texture, keeping in mind the pasta will continue to absorb liquid as it cools.
Once the pasta is done, add the thyme. Taste and add more salt, as needed. Cover and let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then uncover and drizzle with a little more oil just before serving, if desired.
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