It's a lifesaver on busy weeknights to have a tasty, quick, easy, one pot pasta dish in your repertoire; one the whole family loves and that even the kids can whip up. This Corn and Penne One Pot Pasta gets my vote! It's creamy and flavourful - the best kind of comfort food. You just plop all the ingredients into the pot and cook away. Dinner on the table in 15 minutes! (Skip to the recipe.)
Cooking with Meredith
This is the kind of dream dish to cook for your family on weeknights, or to teach your kids to cook for you! They can practice their knife skills cutting up the celery, green onions, and garlic, then drain a can of corn and tip everything into the pot. At the end they stir in the cheeses, and voilà - fantastic food in 15. There's no need to drain a pot of pasta - the cooking liquid gets absorbed and becomes part of the delicious creamy sauce. It's only a little more effort than opening up a box of that construction-cone-orange packaged mac & cheese, but you've got homemade goodness with a whole lot more flavour, fiber, and nutrition in it. The mild sweetness of corn, onions, and pasta is kid-friendly (and makes adults happy, too). This one pot pasta is a warm and lovely comfort food kind of meal. Serve it with a green salad that has some ham or cheese cubed into it or nuts tossed in (for a bit more protein if you feel you need it) for a quick and filling meal.
Let's Whip up this Quick One Pot Pasta Dish
All I need is a big bowl of this pasta, a mug of tea, and a blankie to snuggle on the couch with as I eat and binge-watch Netflix.
Did I just say that?
No, let's sit at the table like a proper family, eat our delicious pasta meal with knife and fork, and enjoy it while having interesting conversation at the dinner table. (Then I'll head to the couch for my date with Netflix 😉 )
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Kitchen Frau Notes: Use homemade chicken or vegetable stock or a good quality purchased one (I like to keep Better Than Bouillon pastes in my fridge to use for dishes like these - and no, I'm not paid to say that, I just like the quality).
For best flavour, of course, you can grate fresh Parmesan cheese from a block. But for ease of cooking on a busy weeknight with kids, there's nothing wrong with buying pre-grated 100% Parmesan from the deli counter (don't get the stuff in the shaker can with additives in it). It keeps in the fridge for a long time or can be frozen for longer use. I always have a container of this in my fridge or freezer.
You could substitute frozen peas for the corn if you like, or toss in a handful or two of leftover cubed ham near the end. If you don't have green onions, dice half of a regular onion and put it all in at the beginning. Then stir a bit of fresh or dried parsley at the end for colour. And you can, of course, use other shapes of pasta, too.
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch (6 to 8) green onions/scallions/spring onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can of corn, or 1¾ cups of corn kernels (either fresh or defrosted frozen corn)
- 12 oz (340 gms or 4 cups) penne pasta (gluten free if necessary)
- 4 cups (960ml) chicken broth or vegetable broth
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup (55gms) cream cheese (¼ of a block), cubed
Trim the ends off the celery and dice it. (Cut each stalk lengthwise into two or three strips, then cut them crosswise into dice.) Finely mince the garlic cloves. Thinly slice the green onions, keeping the white parts and green parts separate. Drain the canned corn.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or small dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced celery, minced garlic, and the white parts of the sliced green onions (set the green parts aside for later).
Cook and stir the vegetables for about one minute, then dump in the drained corn kernels. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Add the pasta and the chicken broth. Turn the heat up a little bit. Stir the noodles often, then once the water boils, turn the heat down to medium again. Cover with a lid, and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than it says on the package directions (if there are no directions, cook it for 8 minutes). Stir it often so the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the green parts of the sliced onions, the parmesan cheese, and the cream cheese (cut into chunks). Stir the noodles until the cream cheese is melted and has turned into a luscious, silky sauce. Remove from the heat.
Serve the pasta dish with a pepper mill so people can grind fresh pepper over the top.
Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a side dish.
For more fun cooking projects to make with kids, see the ‘Cooking With Kids’ series here.
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