I found this method of cooking pasta to be very interesting, fun, and a whole lot more flavorful. The pasta absorbs all the chicken broth, cooking along the way, and the end result is a creamy, cheesy, one pot meal that doesn't waste a drop of water. This is on my highly recommend list!
Risotto-Style Pasta with Mushrooms and Peas
Recipe, adapted from Fine Cooking and the NY Times:
(makes 6 servings)
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
1 cup water or white wine
2-1/2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 lb. dried elbow macaroni or rice elbow noodles
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup plus a few tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
12 fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent and mushrooms begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Add water or white wine. Stir and let liquid bubble away.
Ladle stock into skillet 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition and every minute or so. When liquid is just about evaporated, add more.
After the third addition is absorbed, toss in the peas and continue adding broth and stirring until the pasta is just tender. Turn the heat down to simmer and check pasta consistency. When the pasta is cooked, stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and basil. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan sprinkled on top.