March 21, 2011  •  Category:


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.



34 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Belinda @zomppa says:

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

  2. Margaret says:

    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. Rosa says:

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



  4. bergamot says:

    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. domi says:

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

  6. Michele says:

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

  7. Chiara says:

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

  8. Cherine says:

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

  9. Priya says:

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

  10. Nuts about food says:

    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. gourmandelise says:

    Un délice ce plat de pâtes joliment composé!

  12. Chiara says:

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

  13. Joanne says:

    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. Mely says:

    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. Karen says:

    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. Heavenly Housewife says:

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

  17. Nazarina says:

    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. Oui, Chef says:

    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. Mimi says:

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

  20. Susan says:

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

  21. Nadji says:

    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. Tammy says:

    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. tigerfish says:

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

  24. Christine's Recipes says:

    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. FOODESSA says:

    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. Caffettiera says:

    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. Sweet Artichoke says:

    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. Peter says:

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

  29. Joan Nova says:

    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. Magic of Spice says:

    What a wonderful way to prepare past…lovely dish!

  31. Gwen says:

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

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