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Pasta: A One Dish Meal Recipe

Updated on September 29, 2012
One dish pasta dinners are quick, easy, and healthy.
One dish pasta dinners are quick, easy, and healthy. | Source

It's easy to put together a balanced and healthy meal in one dish using pasta. On busy evenings, a quick pasta dinner is a much cheaper alternative to ordering pizza. It's also a whole lot healthier. The most important thing to do is to make sure to have certain, easily stored, long-lasting ingredients always handy in your kitchen for a busy night's meal. The other night, after another exciting volleyball match, I threw together a tasty dish using bresaola (an Italian air dried beef), green beans, fresh garlic, herbs and goat cheese. This followed my usual formula of some sort of pasta, mixed with some kind of meat and vegetable, and a sprinkle of cheese.

Bresaola (air dried beef) and fresh green beans are what was in my fridge and made and excellent one dish pasta meal.
Bresaola (air dried beef) and fresh green beans are what was in my fridge and made and excellent one dish pasta meal. | Source
Beef Bresaola Dried Cured Sliced - 0.28 lbs
Beef Bresaola Dried Cured Sliced - 0.28 lbs

Bresaola is a flavorful, air dried beef that is great in pastas or on an antipasto plate.


Menu Shopping List

A menu shopping list can be a big help to busy moms on the go. At the beginning of each week, take a look at what evening activities are planned and then make a shopping list. If there is a volleyball game, late practice, track meet, or any activity that you know will take up a large part of your evening, you know you'll have very little time to prepare a good dinner. On those days, you're left with two choices: a crock pot meal or a quick, one dish meal made in a nice, big pan. If you've prepared a good menu shopping list, you'll have everything you need to prepare a quick and healthy dinner. For one dish pasta nights, you will need to have the following on hand:

  • Pasta. Any pasta will do but I prefer a penne or thicker pasta as it holds your sauce better. If you are trying to avoid gluten, try a gluten-free pasta. I've used them many times and I really can't tell the difference.
  • Olive oil. A good olive oil is the foundation to any good pasta dish.
  • Foundation flavor. Give your dish a foundation of flavor by using fresh garlic, onions or both.
  • Meat. You will want a quick meat that can be reheated. I prefer dried, or cured meats or pre-cooked chopped chicken.
  • Vegetable. A balanced meal includes vegetables, so, you should not leave them out of your pasta meal.
  • Cheese. For a creamy sauce try a creamy cheese like chevre or gruyere. If you just want a sprinkle of cheese over your olive oil based pasta, opt for a firm cheese like parmesan or feta, which is softer but somehow always holds its texture.
  • Herbs. You can use either fresh herbs or dried herbs. If you use fresh herbs you will add them at the end of the cooking time. Fresh herbs will store for quite awhile in your refrigerator is kept in a glass of water (like a bouquet) and covered with a plastic bag. Dried herbs should be added at the beginning so the flavor has time to bloom.

The recipe shared today uses beef, beans, and goat cheese. Bresaola is an air dried beef from Italy. I purchased it as part of a package of Italian meat cuts at my local Costco. It has a savory, salty flavor which becomes more pronounced when it is sauteed in olive oil. The warm, beefy flavor combined with the freshness of the green beans and the creamy, tangy goat cheese made this dish a real comfort food.

Help others to find this recipe. Give it a rating.

5 stars from 3 ratings of One dish pasta dinner

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Serves 8


  • 1-16 oz package dried penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Bresaola, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, washed
  • 1/4 cup chevre, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, basil, etc.
Even though it's a one dish meal, I think a little side of salad is a nice addition.
Even though it's a one dish meal, I think a little side of salad is a nice addition. | Source


  1. Fill a large pot with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and add the penne. Cook for 9 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta in a strainer.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add Bresaola and garlic. Sautee until you can smell the garlic and the beef is warmed through.
  3. Remove the beef and set aside on a plate being careful to leave as much of the liquid as possible in the pan. Add the green beans and saute until they are bright green and tender-crisp. Return beef to the pan.
  4. When pasta has finished cooking, add pasta to the skillet with the beef and beans. Add the reserved pasta water and mix using a spatula.
  5. Add crumbled chevre and fresh herbs and stir to coat the pasta. Serve alone in a bowl or on a plate with a side salad.

All of the ingredients used in this simple method for making a one dish pasta dinner are easily stored and long lasting. I have even used canned artichokes in a pasta with dried salami and olives to make kind of an "antipasto pasta". Anything you can find at the store or local market will work for this recipe. I'm certain that, using this formula, you'll be able to come up with a great combination that your family will love and will be quick and simple to prepare.


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    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      This looks delicious and healthy ^_^ I just love one dish dinners and this one is being added to the list. Voting up useful and pinning.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I've never heard of Bresaola, but it would certainly be handy to stock in the pantry. Peruvians also have an air-dried beef. I'm going to try to substitute it for the Italian with your helpful tips. Who doesn't love pasta?! Thanks for another quick and tasty recipe.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Nice to have it all in one dish. And it does look very good.

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judith Hancock 5 years ago from UK

      I'm a great fan of anything that is quick and easy - and cuts down on washing pans!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Bresaola cooked in a pasta dish with beans sounds healthy and original - and tasty too. Great you can put all that you need together in one super dish.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Looks really good - 5 stars!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a great idea....a one dish recipe. We will give it a try for sure.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      I'll have to give this recipe a try. I'm always looking for something new to cook!