Even during the hot summer months, pasta is king in my house. My Italian heritage seems to dictate that I eat some variation of pasta a few times per week, so I almost always include at least one serving of vegetables to get more nutrition into my meal. For this one-pot pasta dinner, you’ll use in-season tomatoes for the sauce. To increase fiber intake, opt for whole-wheat pasta over the traditional white noodles. If you dislike whole-wheat pasta, try a blend of white and whole-wheat noodles, or add in another serving of vegetables with your white pasta to create more nutritional balance.
This One-Pot Caprese Pasta tastes just like your favorite summer salad, but it is much more filling. If you haven’t tried a one-pot pasta yet, it’s a great timesaving trick. Place all the ingredients in the pot together, add enough water and cook. The noodles and sauce cook together, which means this dinner is ready in just 15 minutes. Stirring in the fresh mozzarella after the pasta has finished cooking creates an almost instantaneous cream sauce, coating each noodle with a hint of cheese. In my humble Italian opinion, there’s no such thing as too much basil, so I end up loading the final dish with ribbons of pungent basil, plus more after I plate it, just for good measure.
For such indulgent-tasting pasta, this one is surprisingly lower in fat than you might think.
One-Pot Caprese Pasta
Total Time: 15 min
Yield: 5 servings
3 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh is best, but you can use diced canned tomatoes)
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
4 cups water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, plus more for garnish, roughly torn
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Shaved Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
Place the tomatoes, whole-wheat spaghetti, water, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and olive oil in a stockpot, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally.
Once the pasta is cooked, remove from heat and stir in the basil leaves, mozzarella, and a pinch of salt and pepper to season.
Per serving: Calories 410; Fat 7 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 18 mg; Sodium 160 mg; Carbohydrate 73 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 19 g
Alex Caspero MA, RD, RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of Delish Knowledge (delishknowledge.com), a resource for healthy, whole-food vegetarian recipes. In her private coaching practice, she helps individuals find their “Happy Weight.”