Thursday, June 26, 2014

One-pot tomato basil pasta

Solve the weeknight dinner dilemma with one-pot tomato basil pasta -- a super-fast, healthy meal that can be made in only 10 minutes.

one-pot tomato basil pasta - a fast, healthy meal in 10 minutes

So, you know by now that my goal is to help you to cut the crap from your diet by showing you how to make easy, delicious, healthy meals and snacks at home. I don't need to beat a dead horse.

(OMG, where the hell does that awful expression come from? I don't even want to google it to find out.)

So, instead of horse beating, I'll just tell you about this one-pot tomato basil pasta recipe.

Yep, you read that correctly: one pot. Because I go completely cray cray over “one-pot” recipes that actually require you to cook the pasta separately. That's two pots, people; I may not love math but I can count to freakin' TWO. Therefore, I swear to you this recipe only involves one pot. Do you own a big pot? Good. Got a stove and 15 minutes? Excellent. That's pretty much all you need to get a wholesome, real-food dinner on the table tonight.

I've heard these one-pot pasta recipes referred to as “wonderpots” – and I can understand why. In fact, I think they're triply wonderful:

1) First wonder: The pasta is self-saucing. That is, as the pasta cooks in the pot with the fresh ingredients, it releases starches that thicken the cooking liquid to form a rich sauce. How freakin' cool is that?

2) Second wonder: It's absurdly quick and easy to make. Just throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot (ONE POT, NOT TWO), stir the bejesus out of it for ten minutes and then – wonder of wonders! – dinner is served. Now that's my kind of meal. And yours, too, I bet.

3) Third wonder: The recipe is completely customizable. Do you eat gluten-free? Substitute quinoa spaghetti. Want to change up the flavor? Use different herbs and spices and toss in some mushrooms. Prefer more protein? Add some cooked sausage near the end of the cooking time.

Added bonus or fourth wonder? The continual ten minutes of stirring is an amazing arm workout. Seriously. If I made this one-pot pasta every day, I'd have arms like Michelle Obama in no time. Now, I'd probably be so sick of pasta that I would want to jab myself in the eye with a sharp stick, but hey, my arms would be epic.

Enjoy the pasta – and the workout.

one-pot tomato basil pasta - a fast, healthy meal in 10 minutes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all my healthy, easy weeknight dinner recipes!

One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta

(adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
[Note: This recipe also appears on the Burlington VT Moms Blog]

1 13.25-ounce box whole wheat linguine
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (1 pint of grape tomatoes)
handful of basil, chopped
handful of parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
5 cups water
parmesan cheese for serving

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to submerge the pasta as it softens. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring and tossing continually (tongs are great for this) for about 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is cooked. Serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese.
-- print recipe --


  1. OMG (hah!) look at that pasta!! Gorgeous. (You should share that image as a whole new post next week ;-) -- the only issue I have with pasta is that I literally cannot stop eating it; it's like crack for me :(. Ah so it's the stirring... Loving the four wonders. Thanks for the morning smile.

    1. I'm that way, too -- a total pasta junkie. But I feel like the workout involved in making this one makes it worthwhile. :-)

  2. Holy cow, that's like a dream come true! Do you think I could make a half a recipe and still have it come out OK? I'm the only one in my house who would eat this and I, too, would eat way too much of this.

    1. Yes! I have made a half-size version of it and it was fine. Enjoy!!!

  3. I've heard of this 1 pot wonder pasta but never tried it yet! Glad to know that it really is as easy as it looks and I can count stirring as my daily workout ;) Yum! Looks really great Ninj!

    1. I was wicked skeptical, Chris, but it's pretty darned cool. Enjoy!

  4. Did i do something wrong? Mine didn't come out creamy like the picture shows...

    1. It's not "creamy", Melissa -- it's just thick and saucy. What was the consistency of yours?

    2. Sorry, not sure what happened, as I've made this a bajillion times with no issues. Maybe the heat wasn't high enough?

  5. I tried this last night and it turned out great! I used basil flavored linguine and added basil pesto sausage from Trader Joe's. The consistency was thick and "saucy" as you said it would be. And it was super easy! Thank you!

    1. I'm so glad you liked it and that it was easy for you -- a total keeper in my book!