One-Pot Potato Pasta (pasta e patate)

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What to make when you’ve got nothing in the fridge? This comforting one-pot potato pasta is your go-to recipe. It requires simple budget-friendly ingredients, it’s ready in less than 20 minutes and it tastes delicious.

One-pot potato pasta served in a white bowl.

This traditional dish, originating from Southern Italy, is a supreme example of how to turn humble ingredients or leftovers into something SO good. It’s so easy, virtually fat free and if you skip the parmesan cheese, it’s vegan too!

Carbs + carbs? Yes, my friends, this is proper comfort food and you’re going to love it.

Not only is this one-pot pasta e patate soup packed with delicious flavor, but this is also so quick and cheap, making it the perfect midweek lifesaver for your last-minute dinners. And the whole family will love it, especially the kids.

If you’re not a carb phobic, this comforting humble dish will cheer you up at the end of the day, especially if you run out of time, ingredients or money.

How good is that??!

What ingredients you need

  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Carrot, celery, onion (soffritto)
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes (any kind: fresh, canned, paste)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
The ingredients to cook this potato pasta are arranged on a white marble surface.

How to make pasta with potatoes

  • Make the soffritto = saute onion, carrot, celery in olive oil for about 10 minutes
  • Then add potatoes, tomatoes, salt and give a good stir
Diced vegetable in a black pan and the addition of tomatoes and potatoes to the same pan.
  • Add hot water and cook for a few minutes until potatoes are almost tender
  • Stir in pasta, cook until al dente (adding hot water gradually, if needed)
Black pan with broth, potatoes and tomatoes and then the addition of pasta to the same pot.
  • Taste, adjust the seasoning, add freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley
  • Add parmesan cheese if you don’t keep it vegan. Stir well until creamy and serve.
    Doesn’t it look delicious?
A wooden spoon stirs a creamy potato pasta inside a black pot.

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS

This one-pot potato pasta soup couldn’t be easier and cheaper: you need only and a few basic ingredients, 15 minutes of prep time and less than $1 per servings. Plus, it’s healthy too!

ARE POTATOES HEALTHY?

Yes. If you eat potatoes in moderation and cooked in a healthy way (rather then deep-frying them), potatoes are healthy, fat-free and nutritious.
Research shows that white potatoes prepared in a healthy way have an important role in a nutritious diet”. They are nutrient-dense vegetables and inexpensive sources of energy and protein, rich in fiber, Vitamin A, C, B6, and other important minerals. Plus, white potatoes contain more potassium per standard serving than any other vegetable.

IS PASTA HEALTHY?

YES. Pasta is definitely part of a healthy diet, as long as it’s eaten in moderation.
And If you switch to whole grain pasta you’ll get more natural fiber and micronutrients than white pasta.
Fiber is an important part of your diet, as it prevents constipation, helps control blood sugar and reduces the appetite. Plus, research shows that eating three servings of whole-grain food per day helps you to live longer : )

A white plate full of creamy potato pasta.

CAN YOU MIX PASTA TYPES?


You can toss together leftover bits from various dried pasta, they work just fine. Traditionally, Pasta e patate is made with leftovers, so feel free to mix penne, fusilli, macaroni or whatever you have at hand, just make sure the different shapes of pasta have similar cooking times.

VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN

The original pasta e patate recipe comes from Naples, in South Italy, and it calls for pancetta (cured pork belly) or lardo (cured pork fatback) among the other ingredients. Well, I’m sure they both add plenty of flavor – and saturated fat –  to the dish ; ). However,  I prefer taking these types of salumi off to make a lighter, healthier and cheaper version of this recipe.
I promise you’re not gonna miss out flavor in this vegetarian pasta with potatoes. Plus, you can make it vegan or dairy-free simply skipping the cheese or choosing a vegan parmesan cheese.

HOW TO MAKE THIS ONE-POT POTATO PASTA TASTES GOOD?

It all starts with soffritto in Italy, this is a classic base for almost anything cooked on the stove. It’s a mix of diced carrots, onion, celery that can be slowly sautéed in a bit of olive oil until golden and sweet. This creates a flavorsome base for this potato pasta. Then add your potatoes and some tomatoes, any kind: a few cherry tomatoes, some tomato sauce or paste. The addition of tomatoes adds warm color and makes a richer broth when you cook your pasta.
Last but not least, serve with parmesan cheese, fresh chopped parsley, black pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Yes, things can only get better : )

TEXTURE: the abundance of starch released either from pasta and potatoes in such a small amount of water will help emulsify and thicken your sauce. It’s easy: the starch does all the trick and makes it creamy and delicious.

This how an Italian pasta and potato soup looks like 🙂

A spoon and a white plate both full of potato pasta.

If you enjoy this flavorsome last-minute recipe, be sure to check out also these super quick pasta recipes.
Or, if you are looking for more potato recipes, have a look at this super easy potato frittata.

What to serve with this delicious pasta?

You can make a super fast and refreshing vegan salad like an Italian tomato and cucumber salad or a protein-packed Mediterranean tomato, bean and tuna salad.

If you make this simple potato pasta soup recipe or if you have a question, let me know! Leave a comment or rate it : )
I would love to hear from you! x

Print Recipe
4.70 from 10 votes

One-Pot Potato Pasta (pasta e patate)

This creamy, comforting and delicious potato pasta is your midweek lifesaver: a few basic ingredients, less than 20 minutes of prep time and $1 per serving. How good is that?!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: potato pasta
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Katia

Ingredients

  • 10oz (300gr) potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 5oz (150gr) pasta like penne, fusilli or mixed
  • 1 medium-size onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 small celery rib, diced
  • 1 handful of fresh cherry tomatoes or 1 tomato*
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) hot water, more if needed
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 Tbsp ground black pepper, plus more to serve
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve

Instructions

  • Cut onion, carrot and celery into small pieces.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks.
  • Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the diced vegetables (soffritto), reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir frequently.
  • Add the potato chunks, the tomatoes, and salt to the pan, stir well to coat.
  • Pour in hot water, cover, increase the heat and cook for a couple of minutes, until the potatoes are almost soft.
  • Then add pasta, and cook until al dente, stirring frequently. As soon as the mixture begins to thicken, add a bit of boiling water.
  • When the pasta is nearly done, taste and adjust the seasoning. Make sure you're happy with the consistency, if you prefer a soupy potato pasta add more water and give a good stir.
  • Turn the heat off, add grated parmesan cheese, parsley, black pepper and stir well.
  • Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and extra black pepper, parmesan cheese, and parsley if you wish. Enjoy!

Notes

  • SERVINGS: 2 -3 servings.
  • PARSLEY: you can skip this if you want, but it does give this pasta recipe extra flavor!
  • TOMATOES: this time I used a handful of cherry tomatoes, but you can use a large fresh tomato. You can also swap fresh tomatoes for canned ones: 1/4 cup of tomato sauce or 1 Tbsp of tomato paste work fine.
  • SOFFRITTO: if you run out of carrots and celery, you can use only diced onion, it works just fine (this is a stress-free recipe, right?).
  • PASTA LEFTOVER: it keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days. To reheat it, just add a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave it or stir fry it until warm. No freezable.

26 Comments

  1. Mark Stephenson says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely superb!

    1. I’m so glad it turned out good! Thanks for sharing, Mark. : )

  2. 3 stars
    I was intrigued by this meal as there is no broth added, just water is used. I did leave out the tomatoes because my boyfriend and I are not fans of them. I also added a little more cheese. Overall it was a decent soup, but it did not give me the “wow” effect.

    1. Hi Samantha! Traditionally, the recipe doesn’t use broth, but if you let the vegetables sautéed gently for 10 minutes (soffritto) and use all the rest of the ingredients including parmesan cheese and parsley, the flavor should be there. And yes, the right seasoning. Thanks so much for sharing your feedback : )

  3. 5 stars
    Have been watching an Italian series on MHz Choice called “The Bastards of Pizzofalcone” which is set in Naples. I dragged this recipe out of my memory when I saw them eating this and found your post with the details…
    Wonderful!

    1. I love the name of the series and the idea that they had “pasta e patate”, it makes me smile : )
      Thanks so much for your comment, Gloria! x

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing. This is shocking tasty from basic ingredients. This is definitely on the cold weather meals rotation.

    1. I’m so pleased to hear that, thanks for sharing your feedback, Marla! x

  5. 5 stars
    Super good! I have made this 2 times now and it seems to get better every time I make it. Would rate 6 stars if possible.

    1. That’s brilliant! Thanks a lot for your positive feedback, Dylan… I’m so glad you loved it : )
      Cheers x

  6. 4 stars
    I made this with gluten-free (rice based) pasta tonight and it worked great! I doubled the recipe (except for the onion because I only had one) and used tomato paste. Thickened up nicely! Topped with more parm and salt/pepper. I didn’t add the extra boiling water at the end tho.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback, Janet! I’m very pleased to hear it worked great : )
      Cheers x

  7. Isn’t the celery, carrot, onion mix called mirepoix? Soffritto has peppers I think.

    1. Hi and thanks for your question! This flavor base has actually many variations, it depends on the country. Mirepoix is from France and the vegetables are diced or cut into chunks and are often removed from the final dish. The one with peppers is called Sofrito and has Spanish origin, while the the classic Italian soffritto is here: https://theclevermeal.com/soffritto-recipe/
      Hope this helps 😊 x

    2. My pasta ended up becoming way too watery, basically like a soup. How did u make it creamy without cheese??

    3. Sorry to hear that, sounds like the ratio water/ingredients was off. My pasta with potatoes looks creamy and thick thanks to the starch released from the potatoes and the pasta (and minimal amount of water). Cheers x

  8. 3 stars
    Nothing to write home about but still a tasty way to get in some more veggies.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, it’s a simple dish, good to hear it’s tasty x

  9. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipes that saved my Sunday dinner! Easy and delicius! I can’t wait to try the next one!

    1. Thank you for sharing your feedback, I’m so pleased you liked it!

    2. 5 stars
      I alter this recipe a bit sometimes but every time it just taste so good and homey I love it.

    3. I’m so pleased to hear that, Lindsey! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback.
      Cheers, K

  10. 5 stars
    This was so good, I added some grated cheddar and the kids loved it.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Marta… I’m so happy your kids loved the recipe 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    We loved it!! It was so simple but good, next time I’ll add frozen peas..thank you for the recipe.

    1. I’m so pleased you loved this simple recipe, thanks so much for sharing your feedback! 🙂

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