I saw this on Pinterest and thought it looked like a great idea! Put a bunch of ingredients in a pot, boil it for 10 minutes, and the cooking water becomes the sauce - cool!
Unfortunately, the first time I made this I followed another blogger's recommendation and used vegetable stock instead of water for extra flavor. Big mistake. The stock I used was darkly colored and had a very strong flavor. The end result ended up tasting like pasta with gravy - gross. The soupy flavor totally overwhelmed the tomato and basil, and it was really just not good.
But it seemed like such a good idea that I wanted to give it another try. Water, not stock, this time; and no red pepper flakes (too spicy for me).
This time it worked great! The starchy pasta water cooks down and clings to the pasta like a sauce, and the tomato basil flavor is nice. I still prefer a traditional Pomodoro, but this is great if you don't have a lot of time and only want to use one pot. Some things to keep in mind - stir frequently or it will stick to the bottom; make sure to cut the onion really super thin because it doesn't cook for very long; fresh roma tomatoes will give you the best flavor; and don't break your pasta to make it fit into the pot, after the water starts to boil the ends will become soft enough for you to fold the pasta down.
One Pot Pasta
adapted from Martha Stewart
12 oz whole wheat linguine
12-16 oz tomatoes (grape, cherry, roma, canned), chopped
1 onion, very thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes (optional)
2 large sprigs basil, chiffonade, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 tbsp EVOO, 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 (if using), basil, oil, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper (more if not using red pepper), and water in a pot or large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, 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 oil and Parmesan.