What's For Dinner: One-Pot Tomato-Basil Pasta


When I first saw the pin (which I instantly re-pinned) for "one-pot wonder tomato basil pasta," I have to admit I was totally skeptical. "You just put everything into the pot and it cooks down into a delicious pasta dish?" I scoffed to myself. "Impossible!" Yet, there it was, and with a large number of positive comments, to boot.

{Before}

Well, turns out, I gotta have a little faith, as when I tried this recipe -- it worked! Yup, you really do just add all the ingredients to a pot, pop on the lid, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook (stirring every few minutes) until the liquid has mostly cooked down. And, voila! Dinner is ready.

{After!}

I found that stirring during the cooking period is very important. There were a few minutes while cooking this dish when my skepticism returned ("There's no way this pasta is going to cook all the way through!") -- but, rest assured, you just need to keep at it! Make sure that you scrape the bottom of the cooking pot while stirring, too, to prevent the pasta from sticking. I had to do a little extra scraping when things began to stick, but the pasta turned out just fine.

One of the great things about this pasta dish is that it is incredibly versatile. You can easily hange the flavors up depending on what you have in your pantry. I imagine olives, feta, goat cheese, or artichoke hearts (along with a variety of fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme) would be delicious additions or substitutions in this dish.

What ingredients would you use in your one-pot pasta?

One-Pot Tomato-Basil Pasta (printer-friendly version)
makes 4-6 servings

~8 ounces linguine pasta
1 can (15 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes with juices
1 small-medium shallot, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4"-1/2" pieces
fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Add the pasta, diced tomatoes, sliced shallot, sliced garlic, chopped basil, and chopped spinach to the bottom of a large soup pot. (I used my Le Creuset oval French oven, which fit the linguine perfectly.) Carefully pour in the vegetable broth and top with the red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Drizzle with olive oil.
2. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. (Stirring is incredibly important, as this will help prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot and will ensure the pasta cooks evenly.)
3. Once the pasta has cooked (it should be al dente), and the liquid has mostly reduced, stir in the Parmesan. Top with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil and serve immediately.

 (adapted from this Apron Strings recipe)

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