This is a beef pasta cooked with Italian seasonings in a creamy tomato sauce. The epitome of easy homemade comfort food with the convenience of one-pot cooking!
One Pot Creamy Tomato Beef Pasta
I’m quite selective about one-pot pasta recipes. I only use it for saucy pastas, like today’s. It just doesn’t work properly with less saucy pastas, like Puttanesca and pesto pasta, because there’s not enough liquid to cook the pasta evenly.
So, any one-pot pasta recipe you see here on my website is saucy and oozy.
I’ve never heard any complaints. Everybody loves sauce! 🙂
Today’s is a beef pasta that comes with a creamy tomato sauce. It’s essentially a variation of Bolognese, with Italian seasonings plus a dash of cream. Total crowd pleaser!
Proof of ooziness:
Ingredients in this One Pot Beef Pasta
Following on from my introduction about the sauciness of one pot pastas, it will be no surprise when I say that the key to cooking one pot pasta recipes is to have plenty of liquid that the pasta can absorb! Dried pasta absorbs more than double its own weight in liquid as it cooks. Today, we use 4 cups of stock plus a can of tomato for 360g/12 ounces of pasta.
Beef mince (ground beef) – I use lean here (90% or 95%) but any fat % will do. Actually, the fattier the beef, the beefier the flavour – because fat is where all the flavour is! If you mix, say, lamb fat into very lean beef mince and cook it up, you’d swear you’re eating lamb. 🙂
Chicken stock/broth – The cooking liquid of choice. Tastier than water! I use the liquid cartons regularly in my cooking so I stock up when it’s on sale. For an economical option, I recommend using Vegeta stock powder or Chinese chicken stock powder (Knorr) plus water. I prefer the flavour of these over other Western stock powders.
Pasta type – I used the spirals (fusilli), but other similar sized short pastas will work just fine too. Penne, ziti, elbow macaroni, shells. Avoid the really small pastas like risoni/orzo, tiny stars etc. If using long pasta, it’s easiest to break in half. You can also use a little more – increase up to about 400g/14oz.
Cream – Just 3/4 cup, stirred in right at the end transforms a normal tomato sauce into a creamy tomato sauce! You really do only need 3/4 cup to get the flavour and colour impact of the creaminess.
Garlic and onion – Essential flavour base.
Tomato paste and canned tomato – Tomato paste gives a boost to the tomato flavour as well as thickening the sauce a touch.
Italian herbs – Seasoning! I use a store bought mix, it’s a staple in the dried herbs and spices aisle at any grocery store and doesn’t cost any more than other dried herbs. If you don’t have it, use any mix of dried oregano, basil and parsley. Or, a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Just something to add flavour.
Red pepper flakes (chilli flakes) – 100% optional. I like to add a tiny touch of warmth into this to keep things interest but you can just leave it out if you prefer!
How to make One Pot Creamy Tomato Beef Pasta
Don’t be alarmed by how saucy it is at the end as you take it off the stove, that’s exactly what you want. Pasta absorbs liquid really quickly, so by the time you ladle into bowls, garnish with parmesan, put the bowls on the table, yell at everyone to sit down then start eating, the pasta will go from a little bit too soupy to the perfect level of ooziness.
Cook beef – Sauté the garlic and onion. Then add the beef and cook, breaking it up as you go, until you no longer see red.
Toast seasoning – Add the Italian herbs then cook for 30 seconds. This really brings out the flavour of the herbs and spices, and improves the flavour by toasting it. Then add the tomato paste and stir for a minute. This cooks out the rawness and also improves the flavour.
Add liquids and pasta – Add the stock, canned tomato, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, then add the pasta.
Cook 15 minutes – Once the liquid comes back up to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes until the pasta is just about cooked. Stir every couple of minutes at the start then more regularly towards the end to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick to the base of the pot. As you cook, the liquid will reduce and thicken but should still be soupier than you’d expect.
Cream it! Stir in the cream, bring it back up to a simmer then keep cooking for another minute until the pasta is fully cooked. It should still be slightly soupier than you think!
Serving – Remove from the stove, then give it a good stir and ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parmesan and a little parsley if using, then devour!
As noted at above, pasta absorbs liquid quite quickly so it will go from a little too soupy to perfect ooziness in the time it takes between taking it off the stove and eating it. In any case, saucier is better than dry. Nobody wants a mound of gluey, stodgy pasta!!!
YUM. That’s a bowl of food that is 100% me. It’s not fancy. It’s fuss free to make. It’s hearty and cosy and easy and rustic and full of flavour.
I know it’s a cliche to say “it’s me on a plate”, but it really is. (Well, bowl).
Love to know what you think if you try it! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
One pot creamy tomato beef pasta
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , finely minced
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 500g/ 1 lb beef mince / ground beef
- 2 tsp Italian herbs (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 400g/ 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (or tomato passata)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (chilli flakes, optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp cooking salt/kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock/broth , low sodium (Note 2)
- 350g/ 12oz fusilli, penne, elbow macaroni or other short pasta (Note 3)
- 3/4 cups thickened / heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese , finely grated
- Parsley , finely chopped, optional
- Sauté – Heat the oil on high heat in a large heavy-based pot. Cook garlic and onion for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Cook beef & seasonings – Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go, until you can no longer see red meat. Add the Italian herbs and cook for 30 seconds, then add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to cook out the raw flavour.
- All in – Add crushed tomato, chicken stock, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir, then add the pasta.
- Cook 15 min – Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cook for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes then more frequently towards the end (ensure pasta doesn't stick to base) until the pasta is just about cooked.
- Creamy – Add cream, then simmer for a further 1 to 2 minutes. It will still be quite saucy – this is what you want! Pasta absorbs liquid quickly, so it will still be nice and oozy when you start eating.
- Serve – Remove from the stove. Give it a good stir then ladle into bowls. Serve with parmesan and parsley.
Life of Dozer
I caught him snuffling a tub of rice in the pantry so he was made to walk around with a sticker of shame. (Raw rice grains. I think there was a smear of sauce on the tub. It can surely be the only explanation).