Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato and Basil

If you are on Pinterest, you know about this one-pot pasta dish.  It’s taken the Internet (and blogs) by storm–everyone has tried their hand.  From the mind of Martha Stewart, this pasta dish is not one-pot in that it requires a pot for water and everything else is thrown in later.  It also doesn’t mean that everything else is cooked in a skillet and the pasta joins the party after.


Everything goes into the pot, raw, including the spaghetti, and is cooked together.  In one pot.  Is your brain going crazy like mine did?  Are you not going to be able to think about anything else until you try this, like me?  It shouldn’t work.  It goes against everything we know about pasta.

Even though everyone else in the world has tried it, and written about it, I had to join the party.  I had to know about this pasta trick.

Most surprising of all?  It works.  And it’s delicious.

Gather your ingredients.  The hardest part about this is chopping, and that’s not so hard.
Fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, onion, garlic, spaghetti, and some spices are all you need.  I originally thought I’d use some lemon at the end, but it didn’t need it.
Get a large straight-sided skillet, or if, like me, you don’t have one, a large pot.  Prepare your ingredients and throw them in the pot.  No cooking!  Seriously!  Did I mention that?

Thinly slice your onion and garlic–throw it in!  Chop the basil–throw that in too!  Cut the tomatoes in half–in they go!  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes–you know what to do.
Take some spaghetti–uncooked–and add that right on top.
Drizzle on a little olive oil…
…and cover with cold water.
Bring that to a boil and stir frequently so the pasta doesn’t stick to itself or to the bottom of the pan.  After the water comes to a boil, let it cook for 9-10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and the water has mostly been absorbed and has created a sauce.

Grate some Parmesan cheese and tear some more fresh basil.  When the pasta is ready, serve it in bowls with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan and some fresh torn basil with just the smallest drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.
Take a bite.  Take another bite.  Say out loud that you don’t know how it works but that it’s quite possibly the perfect pasta.  Say that a couple more times.  Talk about it at work the next morning.  Look incredulous at the people you are talking to because for some reason they don’t seem to care that the world of pasta just turned upside down.
The flavor of the pasta is fairly straight-forward.  Fresh tomatoes and fresh basil are a match made in heaven, and obviously no stranger to Italian dishes, but regardless, this is no run of the mill pasta.  It’s incredibly fresh, and while I assumed the sauce would be watery and bland, it was thick and luxurious. It coated every strand of the pasta with freshness.

I couldn’t get enough and I immediately started thinking about all the other things I could do in this technique.  Would it even work?  Or does the beauty of this dish lie in it’s simplicity?  I’ll keep you posted, because obviously it’s still consuming my thoughts.


One pot, 15 minutes, and a whole new way to cook my favorite food.  Are you as excited about this as I am?  Does anyone get this excited about pasta?  Probably not.

Here’s the recipe!

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(Only) One-Pot Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato and Basil


  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5-6 large basil leaves, chopped, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Grated Parmesan for serving


  1. In a large pot or a large skillet with straight sides, add spaghetti, sliced onion, sliced garlic, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped basil.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir and toss pasta frequently to keep it from sticking to itself or to the bottom of the pan.  Continue until the pasta is al dente and the water has mostly evaporated or been absorbed, about 9-10 minutes.
  3. Serve with more fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese, and a little drizzle of nice olive oil.



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