one pot pasta roasted capsicum sundried tomatoes brie

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HANDY TIP: Cooking Pasta quickly in a frying pan or pot with cold water
I can’t take the credit for this, but saw it on Facebook. It’s from Harold McGee, author of ‘The Keys to Good Cooking’ and he tells that you can save time, and even water by adding the pasta to a pan of cold water.

For campers, this is a great tip, as you don’t have to wait for the water to boil before adding the pasta, saving time, but more importantly, especially if doing a desert trip and water is precious, you use less water for the cooking process.

I have given it a go, and it works!! The pasta wasn’t gluggy, it didn’t stick together and you can use the leftover pasta water to help thicken the sauce you might be making for the dish.

So here is the technique. Give it a go and I think you’ll be amazed at how it works.

Using a large frying pan or similar, put the pasta in the pan (I used spaghetti and about 250gm – will feed two with leftovers, or feed 3 to 4 people).
Put approx 6 cups or more of cold water, along with a good pinch or so of salt, into the pan and turn on the heat to high. The theory is that because the pasta is cold, it won’t stick to itself at the beginning. The pasta should be covered with about 50mm (2”) water.
Spread the pasta apart and bring the pan to the boil, then reduce the heat to high/medium and cook until the pasta is al dente (approx. 10 mins, or the usual cooking time).
From the beginning I did lift and separate the pasta, using tongs (as I always do) and gave it an occasional stir during cooking.

So forget using a huge pot and bringing a lot of water to the boil and give this technique a go.


Following on from this idea is cooking a pasta meal in one pot using the same principle – you use less water, and you use just one pot!! How easy is that; no fuss, no stress!! It has to be the easiest pasta meal you will ever make, and the ingredients and flavours are up to you, the principle remains the same. You could also try using different types of pasta, such as penne and the like.

one pot pasta roasted capsicum sundried tomatoes brie



One Pot Pasta with Roasted Red Capsicum, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Brie

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation time:  10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

You could easily reduce the quantity of ingredients to make this a dish for just 2. The principle is that the pasta should be covered by about 2.5cm (1”) of water above the pasta. The amount of ingredients is up to you; start by reducing by half.

350gms (2/3rds x 500gm pkt) linguine or fettuccini (or pasta or your choice) - broken in half
a good handful of basil leaves (more or less to taste) – roughly chopped
1 cup roasted red capsicums (use jar variety – easy and they are good)  –  drained and roughly chopped
1/2 to 1 cup oil-packed semi sun-dried tomatoes (keep oil) – drained and roughly chopped (keep the pieces bite size)
3 to 4 large garlic cloves – crushed (or use jar/tube variety – 4 tspns)
5 cups cold water approx. (you may need a little more)
2 tblspns oil from the sun-dried tomatoes (or use regular olive oil)
1 tspn dried chilli flakes (more or less to taste)
salt, pepper to taste
125gm Brie cheese - cut into small pieces
Grated or shaved Parmesan - for serving

Combine pasta, basil, roasted capsicums, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic in a large deep-sided pan (or you could use your camp oven).

Add the water, olive oil, chilli flakes and seasoning. Using tongs, mix to combine. Note: the pasta should be covered by about 2.5cm (1”) of water above the pasta.

Bring to a boil over high heat, and keep the pasta boiling steadily (uncovered). Cook until al dente - approximately 9 to 10 minutes. During cooking, using tongs, stir, lift and turn the pasta a few times to help prevent it sticking together.

When the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat.

If there is still a little bit of cooking water remaining, pour it into a separate bowl.

Add the Brie and toss with tongs until creamy and melted through.

Check the seasoning and add more if necessary.
As the pasta stands the sauce will thicken up. At this point if you feel it needs more liquid add some of the pasta liquid you reserved.

Serve with some Parmesan and fresh bread.

Viv’s hint: You could use more Brie, but I found the 125gm plenty to give the pasta a creamy taste. Alternately, you could use cream, or cream cheese. You could add a spicy Italian sausage - thinly sliced (or similar), or some chorizo. I’d sauté them in a little oil first before adding to the pasta. If you like olives, add them.


one pot pasta sausage spinach cream garli



One Pot Pasta Creamy Sausage & Spinach Tortellini

Full of rich flavors and textures, this creamy sausage and spinach tortellini takes a little longer to prepare as you need to brown the sausage meat (squeezed from a sausage), but then its just a matter of throwing it all together in the one pot to to cook everything.

Serves 4-6

1 tblspn olive oil
4 to 6 sausages of your choice - can be as exotic or as spicy as you like (amount depends on how much sausage you want in your dish, and how thick the sausages you choose are)
2 or more cloves garlic – crushed (or used jar/tube minced garlic)
1 x lg can (800 gm) diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup light cream
dried red chilli flakes - to taste (optional)
a good pinch of paprika powder - optional
625gm pkt tortellini or ravioli (try with the filling of your choice, such as 3 cheeses, or ricotta and spinach - whatever you like)
2 to 3 cups baby spinach - roughly chopped
salt, pepper

With clean hands, squeeze small knobs of sausage meat out of the casing.

Add the oil into a large high sided pan and place over a medium heat.

Once hot, add the sausage meat pieces and brown on both sides. then add the garlic and saute for a minute or so. Don't burn it!!
Note: you can break up the sausage meat as little or as much as you like.

Add the tomatoes and then the cream and stir to mix through.

Bring to a simmer, then add in the tortellini.

If you feel there's not enough liquid, add some chicken stock or vegetable stock.

Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the tortellini is tender. You could partially cover the pot.

Season to taste, then stir through the spinach until wilted and then serve with some grated or shaved Parmesan and fresh crusty bread.




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