I love pasta and I cook it a lot, both for myself and for clients. Because I cook it so incredibly often, I’ve actually started to loathe the process of it. The water takes forever to boil and occupies an entire power-burner (and a pot) for an annoying amount of time. Draining it in a colander is another dish to clean for literally 10 seconds of use. And the cooking must also be coordinated with the sauce cooking time. That was a big introduction to this statement but – that’s why I love a hearty, satisfying, easy & delicious one-pot pasta.
My one-pot Sun-Dried Tomato Rigatoni is seriously one of my all-time favorite recipes. The ingredient list and process is straight-forward, while the end result is creamy, dreamy, carb-y perfection. It’s flavored with onion, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, along with dried herbs and spices like thyme & black pepper. Veg stock and coconut milk go in, followed by the rigatoni and voila! After 30 or so minutes you’re ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food, that also just happens to be plant-based.
I know I’ll be using this coconut-milk-one-pot method quite a lot going forward, with different flavor profiles, I mean. You can’t really taste the coconut milk when it’s all said and done, but the velvet-y texture and richness it adds is unmatched. I’m planning to always have the ingredients for this recipe on hand because it’s already a staple in our household, and I have a feeling if you try it, you’ll be adding it to your dinner rotation as well.
Vegan One-Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Rigatoni
1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (8.5 oz, 4.9 oz dry wt)
1 large sweet onion, peeled & sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper*
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake, optional*
4 cups vegetable stock or broth (low-sodium preferred)
1 14-oz can coconut milk (full-fat)
1 lb dry rigatoni
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional*
Large covered sauté pan (4-5 qt capacity)
Separate sun-dried tomatoes from the oil. Reserve oil and chop sun dried tomatoes.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil in a large covered sauté pan or pot over medium heat. Add sliced onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to caramelize, 10-15 minutes.
While the onion cooks, measure out the dried herbs/spices and open the can of coconut milk. As for the onions, if the pan ever gets too hot and anything begins to burn, add a splash of water to the pan.
After 10-15 minutes, add the minced garlic to the onion and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add herbs/spices, vegetable broth, coconut milk, chopped sun dried tomatoes, 2-3 teaspoons salt and 3/4 cup water to the pan. Bring to a boil. Add rigatoni, stir, allow to come back to a boil. Stir once more and get as much of the rigatoni under the liquid as possible, reduce heat to low and cover the pan.
Gently simmer the pasta covered until partially cooked, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes, or until pasta is fully cooked to al-dente, stirring occasionally. It will seem a bit liquid-y at this point. Turn off heat and stir in nutritional yeast. Allow the pasta to sit for 10-20 minutes, this allows the sauce to fully thicken while the pasta cools down to an eatable temperature.
Black Pepper & Red Pepper Flake add lots of flavor to this dish. I always make Red Pepper Flake optional unless the dish is meant to be spicy. I like 1/4 teaspoon for a bit of heat in the background of this dish, but feel free to reduce to 1/8 tsp, increase for more spice, or omit entirely. As for black pepper… I love black pepper so 1/2 teaspoon is a good amount for me – if you’re sensitive to pepper, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon.
Nutritional Yeast adds a rich, cheezy flavor to this dish. Some white or yellow miso would also work, or some parmesan.