One Pot Pasta

One Pot PastaI can’t live in denial much longer; school is starting soon.  I don’t mind starting my work, but I had such a luxuriously,  long summer that it was almost like I got an extra season in there.  I even got to go the the NW Washington Fair, which I haven’t been to in approximately 20 years.  It hasn’t changed much, but that is a good thing.

School start up always has a particular tension about it.  Gone are the leisurely days when one can see how the day reveals itself before deciding what to cook.  You now have to have a plan.  To keep eating well on work nights,  you have to have already cooked the food ahead of time, or you need a meal idea that is a quick prep without creating a bunch of dishes.

This Martha Stewart recipe is going around the food websites and it works; it really works.  I like it for August, especially, when we will be having multi-colored tomatoes, warm from the garden, and fresh basil, more than we know what to do with.  This cooking method also stands up well to whole wheat pasta, building in additional fiber and nutrition.  Sure, it’s not the most complex pasta dish we’ve ever eaten.  I immediately started thinking about roasting the vegetables first, which you could easily do ahead of time, to bring up some additional complexity.  But don’t bother.  Make this as is.  Feel happy that you’ve had a healthy, low-fat dinner, using garden produce.  Pack the leftovers for your work lunch the next day.  Wash up the one pot.  Then, have a few minutes to enjoy some more of a waning summer evening.

One Pot Pasta


  • 12 ounces linguine or other long pasta (whole wheat works well)
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large onion, thinly slices (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Course salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Step 1

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

Step 2

Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil.  Serve with oil and Parmesan.