This One Pan Pasta Recipe is super good and it is assembled and cooked in one pan. Less clean-up is the way to go. This recipe makes enough for 6 people.
One Pan Pasta Recipe
When I was a kid, my Mom found this hot dish recipe that she would make occasionally and it became known in our house as Supper Medley. Maybe this is what the recipe was called where she found it. I have no idea. This is what my family called it.
This was in the 60s and I was interested in sports and girls, not recipes! All I know is that when we had Supper Medley, I was going to be there. It’s a delicious concoction of meat, pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese, all mixed together to form a great, flavorful supper.
Anyway, supper medley sounds like you are getting leftovers from the refrigerator, and I’m not cooking tonight. Grab whatever you want and nuke it yourself…we are having Supper Medley!
This is a full-on savory pasta dish much like spaghetti…but on steroids.
- Ground beef, or Italian sausage
- Spaghetti noodles
- Spices: oregano, basil, thyme, and ground fennel
- Tomato sauce
- Diced tomatoes
- Frozen peas
- American cheese
The original method for making this required browning the meat and cooking the pasta, then assembling a casserole dish that was baked in a 350 oven for at least a half-hour. The whole process took over an hour and both of my parents worked so this was a weekend only meal for us.
Supper medley was put together in layers. After the meat was browned and the pasta was cooked, the can of Baby Le Sueur very young peas was opened. You know. The one in the silver label covered can that was way more expensive than the regular big peas. Green Giant Le Sueur peas were the way to go! Open the can and drain, then dump the whole can in a 9″ by 13″ glass casserole dish. The first layer was done!
Next is the meat layer. Only ground beef was used for this. We had no idea what Italian sausage was. Never used it, but I go either way these days. I don’t know what spices my mom put on the meat. Maybe it was only salt and pepper. Maybe some oregano. I know that we never had the 75 spices that MaryJo and I have in the cupboard. (Maybe that’s an exaggeration). My mom had what moms of the 60s had for spices. It was very unsophisticated.
Next was a layer of spaghetti. Cooked spaghetti. A whole pound.
On top of the pasta in this casserole was the cheese. And, as anyone knows, yellow cheese in the 60s was Velveeta! Like it or not, that soft, gooey cheese-like stuff was the go-to cheese. I know that we always had a brick of Velveeta in the refrigerator.
Using a semi-sharp knife to slice off slabs of Velveeta, my Mom would cover the pasta with the Velveeta. These were 1/4 inch slabs of the good stuff! Enough to cover every square inch of the pasta.
Now that the casserole was assembled, it was placed in a 350°F oven for 30 or 40 minutes during which time the cheese melted into the pasta and started to slightly brown. Then it was time to take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 or 15 minutes before cutting and spooning out servings of the Supper Medley!
Knowing how much I love this dish, we rarely have it because it is a pain in the rear to make. It takes too long.
I knew I had to try to re-create this meal in an easy, One pan Pasta Supper! I wanted to make this a 30-minute meal that tastes just like the casserole I love, (minus the Velveeta), and minus the one-and-a-half hours it takes to make it.
Let’s Make One Pan Pasta Recipe
Start with a large, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven and brown the meat. Then add the tomatoes, water, and spices and bring to a boil. Next, break the spaghetti in half and add it to the skillet. Stir it around to push it into the liquid and to keep the pasta from sticking together.
Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Uncover the pot and stir every 2 to 3 minutes to make sure the pasta stays submerged. Once the pasta is done, add the peas and diced cheese. Stir them in to heat up and melt. After a minute, turn off the stove and let the cheese continue to melt. Serve it warm.
I made this and asked my taste tester, MaryJo, what she thought. I think I got two thumbs up! Tastes like the original in less than half the time. This One Pan Pasta Supper is super good and is put together in one pan. Less clean-up is the way to go.
This recipe makes enough for 6 people, but if you have leftovers, they are easy to heat up and enjoy the next day. Store them refrigerated in an air-tight container.
Try it out. This is really good-tasting food. Greater than the sum of its parts.
Here are some more tasty recipes to try:
- Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Beef Barley Vegetable Soup
- Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon
One Pan Pasta Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef (sub. Italian sausage) , 85 lean, 15 fat
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 level tsp ground fennel Omit if using Italian sausage.
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. .can diced tomatoes
- 8 oz . spaghetti , broken, (or other pasta like Rotini)
- 2 cups water , more if needed
- 8 oz . frozen peas (or the whole bag if desired)
- 8 oz . Boar's Head yellow American cheese , 3/8 inch diced *see notes
- Take the frozen peas out of your freezer to start thawing. Then, use a large, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven to brown the ground beef on medium heat.
- Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, water, salt, and spices. Bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta, breaking the spaghetti in half. Stir to keep from sticking together.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce and pasta, covered with a lid, for 15 to 18 minutes, stirring every 2 or 3 minutes. Add more water if necessary, (the pasta will keep absorbing liquid once off the heat).
- Test the pasta for tenderness.
- When nearly al dente, add the peas and diced cheese, stir gently to combine.
- Keep the stove on for another minute then turn it off. Let the dish rest for 1 or 2 minutes, and the cheese get melted.
- Serve immediately.
- Using Rotini pasta will make it easier to stir the sauce. The taste should be the same.
- You can substitute Italian sausage for the ground beef. If using Italian sausage, omit the ground fennel.
- I have used Kraft Singles, (slices), American cheese with good results. Just stack 1/2" of the slices and cut to dice. Repeat for the remainder of the cheese.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a microwave.