Fun fact about me: when I was a kid, it seemed like I won nearly every contest or drawing I entered. I had the best luck! Random drawings? I won them. Coloring contests in the newspaper? I rocked those Crayolas. Reading contests? I read the most books. Contests to sell the most boxes of Girl Scout cookies? I went straight to the rich people’s houses in the neighborhood.
I even won “guess how many ____ are in this ___” contests. I distinctly remember the movie theater having a contest to guess how many gum balls or something were in a big jar. I guessed closest, and thus received an Adult XL size “Honey I Blew Up The Kid” t-shirt. Perfect for a nine-year-old girl, yes?
I must have worn out my luck as a child, because I don’t win any random drawings anymore. But luckily, I’ve been able to take my cooking skills and win some skills contests with them. I received the beautiful Le Creuset cast iron skillet pictured in these photos for winning a Whole Foods Market recipe contest. Every time I use the skillet, a huge sense of pride washes over me. I won this beautiful skillet! It wasn’t a random drawing, I won because people thought I created a great recipe.
What better way to show my skillet some love than create a meal cooked entirely in it? I must confess that I rarely make one-pot meals, aside from my Skillet Mac and Cheese, but I’m pretty proud of this Creamy Veggie Pasta Skillet. It’s full of veggies like broccoli, carrots and peas, and nice and filling thanks to whole wheat pasta. A creamy marinara sauce pulls everything together in this simple and healthy one-pot dinner!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large bunch broccoli, finely chopped
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- 8 ounces whole wheat spiral pasta
- 2-1/2 cups water, plus additional if needed
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
- In large high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add shallots, carrots and salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer vegetables to bowl; set aside.
- Add marinara, pasta and water to skillet; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 15 to 17 minutes or until pasta is tender, adding more water by 1/4-cupfuls if necessary, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in peas, half-and-half, red pepper flakes and reserved vegetables; cook 1 minute or until vegetables are heated through. Serve pasta garnished with Parmesan cheese and parsley.