I had been seeing this recipe on the interwebs in more than one place, so I decided to try it for myself. It's a pasta dish you make all in a single pot using fresh ingredients that are only very lightly prepped. Since my makeshift kitchen doesn't include many amenities, I thought if this worked, it would be a fine recipe to have on hand.
But, I must admit I was skeptical. For one thing, it didn't call for much water for all that pasta. And, wouldn't the onions taste harsh if not softened first? And wouldn't the garlic be too "hot?"
However, nothing ventured, as they say... I used Martha Stewart's recipe simply because it came up first in my Google search, but I have seen others on different sites.
So, I sliced the onion and garlic thinly, sliced the cherry tomatoes in half, and tore up the basil. Those are literally all the preparations called for. How sweet is that?
I poured the water in first, then added the rest of the ingredients, and turned on the high heat. Within 10 minutes after coming to a boil, it was ready to serve. No kidding! The pasta lends starch to the sauce to thicken it, and the rest of the ingredients are sweet and soft by the time the pasta is cooked.
I took this photo before sprinkling the dish with Parmesan cheese - couldn't resist the colorful show with our jazzy paper plates - and we sat down to eat. I did add about half a cup of roasted chicken pieces to each plate since My Beloved is a confirmed carnivore, but it would have been quite tasty even without them. The tomatoes are sweet and fresh, the pasta just al dente, and the alliums add another layer of flavor. You get an interesting layer of mild heat from the red pepper flakes. And, because you cook the pasta with the other ingredients, it had more flavor, too. Win-win!
Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta, serves 4*
12 ounces linguine
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish (Martha didn't ask for chopped leaves in the cooking pot, but next time I'd do that to distribute the flavor more evenly)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4-1/2 cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
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 (*Important step or your linguine will fuse together), until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with olive oil and Parmesan.
*This is a generous serving for four and, another time, I'd only make enough for however many people are eating, as it does not reheat well. It tastes fine, but the pasta gets soggy after a night in the fridge.