As a child, I looked forward to each new season in anticipation of the delights it would bring. Autumn is probably my favourite time of year, with its wild mushrooms, walnuts, chestnuts and more. Spring has serious merits, though; there something so special about its fresh peas, broad beans, asparagus, herbs and young salad leaves. And summer brings our beloved tomato , ready to be preserved so we can enjoy them in pasta dishes throughout the coming year, as well as abundance of peppers and aubergines. Even winter has its charm, with comforting pasta bakes and rich game sauces.
Combining seasonal produce with pasta is a sure and simple way to ensure you are eating a healthy balanced diet which is also kind on your purse. I love the versatility of pasta; it can be egg-based or made with water, and sauces vary greatly region to region. In Southern Italy, for example, flavours are stronger, with lots of garlic and chilli; by the sea, sauces are fish-based; and in Northern Italy sauces tend to be more delicate and creamy. The north is also famous for filled pastas, like ravioli and tortellini, and bakes such as lasagne and cannelloni.
Pasta can also be made in advance and served for parties or on picnics.
One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (Stove-Top recipe)
I love making pasta salads when entertaining for a large crowd, like my pasta salad with grilled peppers and olives. You can add whatever you like — tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, red onion, tuna, olives, pickles, sliced leftover sausages, prawns, cannellini or borlotti beans — the list is pretty much endless. Garlic and chilli are softened in a pan, and then joined by clams and white wine, and left to steam away for a couple of minutes.
Once the shells are open, the whole lot is tossed with spaghetti, sprinkled with chopped parsley, and served — easy as that. The fresh chilli adds a sweeter, cleaner note than the dried one used by Gwyneth, and I like Locatelli's advice about allowing the pasta to sit in the sauce for a minute or so to absorb a little of it: Cut with extra virgin olive oil, it gives the dish a richer, more satisfying texture, while still allowing the flavours of its few ingredients to shine. This is a definite special occasion vongole, given I have to make another sauce from the clam cooking liquid, and combine the two — only the work of half an hour, but if that means 20 minutes less in the sunshine then the results have to be pretty striking.
The finished dish, however, while tasty, is a definite disappointment for anyone expecting seafood: The same recipe also includes the fennel seeds employed by Gwyneth Paltrow. Although in theory the aniseed flavour should pair perfectly with seafood, in this instance it adds a distracting sweet herby note that spoils the zesty partnership between garlic and clam. Gwyneth also sticks in anchovies far too strong and tops her vongole with basil, which similarly confuses the tastebuds — the sharp pepperiness of flat-leaf parsley is a better foil for the flavours beneath.
Spaghetti vongole is a light, summery dish that should be kept as simple as possible — if you're splashing out on fresh clams, then it's a shame to lose them in a maelstrom of other flavours. Rinse the clams in cold running water, and scrub if necessary, then put them into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Salt generously and leave for a couple of hours, then drain and rinse well to remove any grit or sand. Put the spaghetti into a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes under the recommended time, until nearly done.
Meanwhile, put half the butter and all the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and soften the garlic and chilli. Add the drained clams, and turn up the heat. Love this recipe using the Instant Pot. Quick question… what quart size do you recommend for a Dutch Oven?
And do you have a recommended brand? Do you think I could substitute half the pasta for zoodles? You can add them which would make more servings, not sure how to adjust it otherwise without testing.
Do I have to ditch pasta to lose weight?
It worked out great! I probably should have halved the water I halved the pasta because it came out a little watery- but adding the zoodles at the end was perfect! How much basil should be added? I see it in the instructions, but not on the ingredient list. Thanks for making the stove top version. Looking forward to trying it out!
I love your recipes Gina — you have changed the way I cook for my family. My mum has been making a version of this dish since we were kids, and my kids love it too. She always used tins of Heinz tomato soup instead of crushed tomatoes. Could you use another pasta if the weight was the same?
My kids fuss about spaghetti because its harder to eat. I made it yesterday. I did not have the Tuttorosso tomatoes, so needed to add quite a bit of Italian seasoning. I omitted the water and used zoodles instead of pasta. It was delicious and soooo easy! I want to try this with zoodles too! Did you use only zoodles and NO spaghetti?
If so, how long did you cook it once you added the zoodles? If you used jarred Marina, you would elongated the tomatoes and spices but would you need the water to cook the pasta or just let the pasta cook in the sauce alone? After a gastric bypass, I cannot eat pasta, but I can use zucchini and make it into a pasta. This looks so good…. Its the jarred marinara in the other recipe using the calculator but agree. A flaw in the new SP system. Can I use normal white spaghetti for this recipe?
Or will the amount of starch that comes off of it ruin the dish?? I found some sweet Italian turkey sausage in the freezer, so I used that instead but besides that, completely true to the recipe and it was perfect. I have been struggling to get back my motivation to cook and this was a great jumpstart.
Thank you, as always. I love spaghetti with meat sauce. I have so may recipes very similar to yours. Sometimes I also add some black olives. Or leave it in with the oil before adding in the onion? This is an awesome method! Another fantastic recipe from Skinnytaste!! What would I do without Skinnytaste?! Thank you for giving us the BEST food blog out there!!!! I read this recipe while on my lunch hour and decided it sounded so simple I would give it a try tonight. Had dinner on the table in roughly 30 minutes and that included making a roasted veggie side dish with only one pot, cutting board and knife to clean.
Impressive and delicious…a real win-win!!! I cooked this last night and doubled everything so that I would have leftovers. I used venison instead of ground beef because I have a freezer full. The spaghetti turned out perfectly and I will never cook spaghetti another way again! It was absolutely delicious! My family loved it. Thank you so much for the recipe and for all that you do. I had to cook this a little longer, about 25 minutes, due to the noodles were still hard. Although, once finished it was sooo good!!
Definitely my new go to spaghetti and meatsauce recipe. This was so easy and delicous. I had enough for 2 lunches also. This is definitely going in my SkinnyTaste rotation. Made this for this first time tonight and it has forever changed how I make spaghetti! Delicious and could not be easier! I love so many of your recipes! Thank you so much for making healthy eating so delicious! We love your recipes and my husband and I enjoy cooking together from your cookbook.
This is so great! Such a quick and easy one pot meal that makes great leftovers. You could easily throw in any sort of meat or veggies in your fridge. I got home from work late last night, and decided to make this for dinner. My kids loved it! My daughter asked for seconds!
Believe me when I say that is more than just a compliment! We absolutely loved it as we do most of your recipes. Keep them coming I have 37 pounds to re-shed. So easy to put together and my husband and kids LOVE it! Thank you for all your hard work! This looks so easy and good! Also, once the pasta goes in, is there a need to stir it as to not stick? Loved this very easy one pot spaghetti. I followed your recipe exactly and it was wonderful.
I put the hot spaghetti on a bed of zoodles so did not need a cup and a half. It was so quick. Next time I might add a little Italian seasoning as others have mentioned, maybe even a bit of red pepper flakes. As usual, this is a keeper recipe! You have helped me maintain my weight loss.
One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (Stove-Top) | Skinnytaste
After Thanksgiving my husband asked when we would have a Skinny Gina dinner. He is supportive even though he does not need to loose any weight. I usually give him large portions of your creations and he is a happy camper! This has become one of my favorite quick and easy weeknight meals! So good, so fast and easy!
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It worked really well! Hi Gina, Would it be okay to season the meat with Sazon for more flavor? I absolutely love SkinnyTaste. For some reason, this recipe is showing up as 11 points in the new WW system when using the nutrition calculator. Is it really supposed to be 8 freestyle points? Love the one pot! Wish I could have found the crushed tomatoes you were were talking about. Obsessed with this spaghetti dish, and so quick to pull together after a long day at work.