I'm always looking for a way to make cooking easier. There's no need to make things complicated for yourself; cooking is supposed to be enjoyable.
I recently came across a recipe from Martha Stewart that makes the pasta, sauce and whatever ingredients you want to add all in one pot. Intrigued, I began reading the instructions along with the reviews from those who have tried it and decided to take a whack at it. Rather than boiling water for the pasta, simmering a sauce in another pan and cooking the extra ingredients to incorporate into the pasta dish, you simply cook everything all at once. How cool is that?
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about the recipe, mainly because I didn't think the noodles would cook properly -- either they would be undercooked or overcooked. I also didn't think the ingredients would make any type of sauce. It seemed like the entirety of the sauce would be watery, but I am glad to say this wasn't the case.
The only part that takes the longest with making this pasta is prepping all of the ingredients, but really, it's not that difficult. Simply halve about 12 ounces of cherry or grape tomatoes, and thinly slice one onion and four cloves of garlic. Place 12 ounces of linguine in a pot, followed by the tomatoes, onion and garlic slices, about four basil leaves, half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, a quarter teaspoon of pepper, two teaspoons of salt, two tablespoons of olive oil and four and a half cups of water.
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Once everything is in the pot, your work is done. Cover the pot and turn the stove to high so you can boil the noodles and the ingredients. Let the pot boil for about ten minutes; stir the pasta every once in a while to ensure everything evenly cooks in the pot. As soon as the water is almost completely evaporated and the noodles are al dente, place a serving of pasta in a bowl or on a plate and top with grated Parmesan cheese and some more basil leaves.
The juice from the onions, tomatoes and garlic seeps into the water and pasta, creating a delectable sauce that coats every single noodle. Trust me, you won't miss the typical thick tomato sauce. Add more red pepper flakes if you think the pasta needs more heat.
This pasta dish is great if you are in a hurry. Of course you can use any type of noodle you want and feel free to add or replace some of the ingredients to your liking. Next time, I think I might add mushrooms, spinach and a little bit of cheese at the end.
If you want to add a protein, cook some chicken or shrimp on the side, then toss into the pasta once it is done.