This easy one-pan orecchiette pasta is the perfect vegetarian meal for those weeknights when you don’t know what to make. With a few pantry ingredients, it comes together in under 20 minutes.
First things first, I hope you’re doing well. It feels a little bit strange to be writing a blog post during these unprecedented times, but I developed and photographed this one-pan pasta recipe before any of this happened.
Because I’ve honestly felt like developing new recipes is not the thing to be happening now. It feels selfish to go to the store to buy surplus ingredients. To photograph recipes when I don’t know what ingredients you’ll have on hand to use.
So here we are.
I’m thankful for developing this one-pan meal for you, before the craziness, and I’m thankful that you can adjust it as needed, depending on what’s in your fridge or pantry or freezer.
Yes, yes, yes.
We’re in this together, friends. And I hope to help you make easy, delicious dinners, even when you’re likely so sick of cooking.
What is Orecchiette Pasta?
You might be wondering, what the what?
Ok, orecchiette is just a pasta shape. That’s it.
So if you don’t have these little ear-shaped pod noodles, use any other small shape you have. Penne, elbow, orzo, fusilli, bowtie…it will all work.
You will likely need to adjust cooking time depending on the shape of your pasta. For example, orzo will cook faster than penne will. Excercise some judgment, read the box, and use the best tool to check them that there is: you!
The Ingredients You’ll Need
I’m using need loosely here. You may need to adjust if you’re making this in real-time (and hopefully in a few months you won’t need to worry!).
- Butter and/or olive oil – I like to use both, but you can easily adjust as needed!
- Yellow onion – my go-to! However, you can use white onion or shallot in its place. Only have a red onion? Its sharp flavor may be too pungent, so reduce the amount by about half.
- Broccolini – ah, my love. Sub regular broccoli or even frozen in its place. Have neither? Add in another green veggie like spinach – but do that last as it won’t need to cook like the broccoli does.
- Sun-dried tomatoes – these are such a great pantry staple! I like to use the ones that are already packed in oil, but the dried ones will do, too.
- Orecchiette pasta – as I said above, the pasta shape can be easily adjusted, just keep an eye on cooking times.
- Vegetable Stock – if you need to substitute, use chicken stock or salted water in its place.
- Parmesan cheese – adds an added salty, slightly creamy, kick!
Few ingredients? One-pan? I told you this was going to be our easy one-pan meal of the month. Orecchiette broccoli pasta, coming right up!
How to Make One Pot Orecchiette Pasta
The key is to make sure you’re starting with a pan large enough to hold all of the ingredients – including the stock and pasta once those are added towards the end.
I love using an extra-large sauté pan, but you can also use a dutch oven or stockpot. I like making sure the pan is wider than it is tall, if possible. You can see in the photos I used my 12-inch Green Pan; it was a close fit, but it worked!
You just want to be super sure the pan has edges that are tall enough to hold all the goodness in!
Then, start by cooking the yellow onion and broccolini. Don’t forget to layer in your flavors by adding a little bit of salt at the start, along with red pepper flakes, and continuing to add salt throughout the cooking process – bit by bit.
Next goes in the sun-dried tomatoes, pasta, and veggie broth. It all cooks down together until the pasta is cooked to al dente and most of the pasta water (liquid) is absorbed. There will be some liquid remaining, as it creates the sauce.
Next goes a little extra butter and parmesan cheese for a touch of creaminess, and you. are. done.
Yep, d.o.n.e. done with dinner. In less than 20 minutes you have a quick and easy meal made with vegetables, the kitchen cleaned up, and a full and happy belly. That’s a one-pan vegetarian meal wonder!
More Orecchiette Pasta Recipes (and other small shapes)
- 5 Ingredient Blistered Tomato Pasta
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Roasted Broccoli and Sweet Potato Orzo
- Easy Spring Vegetable Fusilli
- One-Pot Creamy Gnocchi
One Pan Orecchiette Pasta with Broccolini and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 5 TBSP unsalted butter divided
- 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 bunch broccolini cut into 1-inch pieces (~1 cup)
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes julienned
- 16 oz. dried orecchiette pasta
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly shredded
- Heat a large sauté pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 TBSP butter and the olive oil and let melt. Add the onion, garlic, and broccolini to the pan, stirring to coat. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and salt (continuing to layer in salt throughout the cooking process). Let cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, orecchiette, and vegetable stock, stirring to combine. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 11-13 minutes until the pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. If pasta seems to have absorbed too much liquid, you can add in about 1/4 cup more.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter and parmesan cheese until combined. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese.