Quick Pasta Fagiole and One-Skillet Suppers

Casey Barber

by Casey Barber on March 18, 2013

So your skillets and pans are ready to go—the cast iron’s been seasoned, the Staub is on the burner, the stainless steel is shining. Now what?

You make a whole meal in that skillet, that’s what.

one-skillet chile verde stew
In my latest iVillage recipe slideshow, I’ve got 10 meals that you can make in a single skillet—no separate pot of boiling water or other accessory required. What’s the secret to getting all your meal components in one place? A high-sided skillet, for one, and a clever technique stolen from risotto-making that allows your starch (like rice, potatoes, or pasta) to simmer directly in the skillet with flavorful broth and aromatic vegetables.

one-skillet dirty rice
From tangy chili verde stew to creamy mac and cheese loaded with veggies to a spicy dirty rice pilaf, I’ve got a bunch of ideas to get you started. (Oh, and should I mention there’s a cast iron skillet pizza that’s a deep dish wonder?) But once you’ve got the technique down, I’m sure you’ll be inspired to come up with your own one-skillet creations.

one-skillet pasta fagiole
This one-skillet version of pasta fagiole, or “pasta fazool,” as we refer to it in our house, is yet another variation on a classic Italian dish. Though the basic components of this soup-slash-stew—pasta, beans, and aromatics—remain intact from recipe to recipe, there are infinite tweaks and personal touches that have been added or subtracted from the meal over the years. Some cooks include carrots or tomatoes, while others eschew them. Some replace sage with rosemary or keep things simple with just garlic and parsley.

Though pasta fagiole is traditionally simmered for hours as dried white beans turn soft and plump, creating a creamy sauce, this version might make your grandma blush. I’m cheating by using canned cannellinis, creating a hearty and satisfying stew that cooks in less than an hour. Those of you with crushes on your pressure cooker (hey, I’m one of them!) can dirty one more pot by quick-cooking dried beans there, then adding them to the pan. Start them before you sauté the onions, and you’ll still have the meal on the table in record time.

Check out the rest of my one-skillet meals on iVillage!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

gburg March 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

Great idea and it looks delicious. Lots of good parmesan cheese on it.

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Sheryl March 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

This recipe deserves a print-out! Going to the store today to pick up the ingredients – thanks.

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stephchows March 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm

MMM love the idea of making dinner in one pan. The less clean up the happier this girl is :)

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Maureen March 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Single skillet meals are perfect for busy families who need to eat nutritious, delicious weeknight meals. Well done.

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Sarah - A Beach Home Companion March 23, 2013 at 12:05 am

I used to make Pasta Fagiole without realizing it, because I just added pasta to everything I cooked. And you know what? It was always better.

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Casey Barber March 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Sarah, I think that’s a good rule to follow in general: add pasta to everything and it will always be better.

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jen April 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Thanks for this recipe! I made it and it was awesome. Of course my 1 year old, the intended audience, refused to try it because grapes were within his eyeshot, but we enjoyed it. Warning though – I made it in the de Buyer, and any liquid causes it to rust ever so slightly, almost instantaneously. Maybe we didn’t season adequately.

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Casey Barber April 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Noooo! Not the dreaded GRAPES!! Interesting about the deBuyer – I haven’t done any simmering of liquids in it yet, just straight sauteing with both olive and organic canola oils, so I’ll have to do a little tomato/broth action and report back. Mine’s been seasoning up nicely, though; suppose I should instagram that thing soon.

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