I saw chef Adèle Hugot cook pasta this way (and call it pastato), I thought “it really is not that much different from what we have been doing with vermicelli and rice in the Lebanese kitchen”. She coats the pasta in olive oil in a wok, then adds the white wine and stock (or a couple bouillon cubes) and lets the pasta absorb the stock completely. Then adds the basil, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese.

One great advantage here is you only use one pot, the pasta absorbs a good homemade stock (ideally) and the dish is ready in 12 minutes.

I am going to cook pasta this way from now on, with variations based on my pantry’s finds and my mood.

Today, I added a few slivers of jamón serrano, toasted pine nuts, garlic and basil.

I like to add the mashed garlic after the pasta is cooked. Two reasons: All the benefits of garlic are preserved and the pasta has that fresh slightly pungent garlic taste.


  • 10.6 ounces penne (300 g.)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes, seeded and peeled
  • 3 cups  chicken stock or water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • A few slivers of jamón serrano or salami or prosciutto, sliced
  • 3 ounces of kashkaval cheese or parmesan or any sheep’s milk cheese of your taste
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce of fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat the olive oil in the wok; add the pasta and toss, letting it color slightly.
  2. Heat the chicken stock or water and bouillon cubes to almost a simmer, add the white wine and pour into the wok over the pasta.
  3. Add to the pasta diced tomatoes (seeded) and shredded sun-dried tomatoes. Let the pasta absorb the stock completely. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet with a teaspoon of butter till caramel-colored.
  4. Cut the cheese into shreds using a potato peeler. Mash the diced garlic with a pinch of salt. Shred the Spanish ham.
  5. Add the cheese, shredded ham, toasted pine nuts and shredded basil to the pasta. Toss the pasta.
  6. Grind some fresh black pepper over the pasta and serve.

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  1. Posted March 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Sweet! The wok is so versatile, it’s amazing. Love the one pot idea.

  2. Posted March 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    What a great way to cook pasta. I will definitely have to try it this way. And love your additions. Thanks for this one.

  3. Posted March 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    A yummy combination of ingredients! A great way of cooking that dish.



  4. Posted March 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I always wondered why pasta cannot be cooked like we cook vermicelli, etc. I guess it’s just a matter of being creative enough and trying it out. I guess I will try this too.

  5. Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Un bon plat de pâtes ça le fait toujours, tout le monde aime…..

  6. Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    What a brilliant idea! I’ll have to give this a shot!

  7. Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    I will try it, I love this recipe Joumana! A new way to cook pasta….Kisses

  8. Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Love this new way of cooking pasta!! A must try recipe!

  9. Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Fabulous pastato, love the way u cooked ur pastas, would be more delicious if we cook pastas like this na..

  10. Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    I have heard they do something similar in Libya too, boiling pasta directly in its sauce, also tomato sauce. It seems like the past turns out much more flavorful.

  11. Posted March 22, 2011 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Un délice ce plat de pâtes joliment composé!

  12. Posted March 22, 2011 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Pasta cooked like risotto? How interesting. I’ll have to try it.

  13. Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I hear this is the best way to cook pasta because it absorbs so much flavor and saves water…but I’ve never done it before. You’ve convinced me that it’s worth trying cause that pasta looks SO GOOD.

  14. Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Wow! You are right! Really simple. You do not know how much I like visiting your blog.
    I always take greats easy to make ideas for dinner. So, guess what we are having tonight? Pastato!

    Have a happy day in the kitchen! :)


  15. Posted March 22, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Great recipe, Joumana! I love your addition of ham and pine nuts. Very tasty and such classic Italian flavors. Speaking of tasty, your labneh and herb dip recipe is superb!

  16. Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    What a fascinating way of preparing pasta, this looks delicious!
    *kisses* HH

  17. Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    You make everything with such a lust for life……a simple pasta with such delicious little accents! I am sure even hard-core Italians are are taking a second look!

  18. Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    What a brilliant approach to cooking pasta! easy clean-up and all the pasta goodness stays with the dish and doesn’t get rinsed down the drain. Trying this one for sure! – S

  19. Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t made pasta with this method, but it looks so tasty and easy.

  20. Posted March 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never tried this method of cooking pasta but will definitely try it. It sounds amazing!

  21. Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    J’ai aussi pratiqué ce mode de cuisson. Ça donne un très bon goût aux pâtes.
    C’est vrai qu’on peut décliner de 1001 façons.
    A très bientôt.

  22. Posted March 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Ah, now if only I had a wok–but my kitchen drawers will not tolerate the addition. Ill give this a try in my cast-iron casserole…bises du sud de la France!

  23. Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    The pasta must be so flavorful, absorbing the stock to cook!

  24. Posted March 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting to love pasta as much as I like eating rice. Easy and quick. Can whip up on the go and mix with many delicious sauces I love.

  25. Posted March 23, 2011 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    This is not any different than how I make Risotto and therefore, a perfect way to adapt pasta in the same way.
    Joumana…I like the added ingredients as well as agreeing with your cooking logic. I always put roasted garlic as well as fresh parsley usually last.

    Btw…a little side note to the Butterscotch cake for your son…make him happier, by adding toffee bits to the cake I had posted. When his smile will undoubtedly enlargen with every bite…you’ll be happy you put in the extras ;o) Don’t forget the sauce…molto deliziosa!

    Ciao for now,

  26. Posted March 23, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    it is a technique used in Italy sometimes as well – you are basically cooking pasta like you would cook a risotto. It requires a bit more attention than normal ‘boil and dress’, but it can be incredibly tasty! I love your dressing.

  27. Posted March 23, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    This is such an interesting way of cooking pasta and they look absolutely delicious!
    I have heard a lot about it (my mum is a fan) but have not tried it yet…

  28. Posted March 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Love this method. We toast orzo then add stock and bake until cooked. I must try your way with other pasta shapes.

  29. Posted March 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    That looks wonderful and I’m very interested in that pasta-cooking technique. I often use a skillet to prepare the sauce or whatever ingredients are going into the pasta but boil the pasta separately and then mix it together to meld the flavors. I will definitely try this way.

  30. Posted March 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful way to prepare past…lovely dish!

  31. Posted March 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    This looks great! The pine nuts don’t appear to be in the ingredient list, how many did you use?

  32. Joumana
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    @Gwen: I used 1/4 cup of pine nuts.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Easier Than Falling Off a Log » Pastato on April 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    [...] in stock will make it more flavourful than cooking it in water. And the blog I saw this recipe on, Taste of Beirut, says it’s not dissimilar to a method of cooking pasta used traditionally in Lebanon. [...]

  2. [...] how I missed putting it in my Last Minute Weekend Suggestions (so give me fifteen lashes with wet pastato), but the Lebanese Food Festival, presented in conjunction with Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, has [...]

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