I must not be reading enough blogs because this is the first time I’ve come across this. Looks like a great, easy summer time meal I’ll have to remember it for when the weather gets warmer down here in Australia.
Hmmmm…..have to say I’m skeptical, never heard of it – and coming from an all-Italian family I am picky about pasta. Perhaps this is for novice-Italian cooks, although maybe not. I’ll have to see. You weren’t kidding about devoting your posts to unusual and unique recipes!
Ha! You guys are funny. I am surprised by the skepticism over this one. To clarify, this is an Italian technique that the editors at MSL picked up in Puglia. So, there is that. Also, it is an unusual method (at least to me), but how could these ingredients lead to anything bad?!
“just me”- I haven’t tried, but I would imagine you could do this with any pasta shape. You may just need to adjust cooking time. I think it would be best with long, thin noodles.
joana- i would make it as written first and then play around. i can’t imagine any of those additions being better than the original recipe. See what you think!
Italian Girl- I am not a novice Italian cook! It is good!
This changes everything. Will have to try later in the week.
Oh, and, Octavian and I finally got around to watching The Killing. Just finished the first season last night. I love her sweaters (too) and that she advises Jack to get something healthy from the vending machine like corn chips!
This looks like it would make rice noodles (which I substitute for the way more delicious but gluten filled pasta) taste delicious! And it’s something I will for sure try out because anything that takes longer than 20 minutes to make is not getting made at casa Yancy.
This is so amazing! I’d seen it somewhere else a week or so ago and was tempted but that’s as far as it went. Your photos make it look so delish that I can’t wait to try it, I have everything on hand! I agree, can’t believe we haven’t been making it like this all along!
@ItalianGirlCooks – there’s actually a famous Alain Ducasse recipe that he claims to have learned from Ligurian olive oil makers that works exactly the same way – it’s in the canon, just lesser known. Sort of a mix of risotto technique and pasta cooking. Try it!
This recipe tasted great. Would definitely resort to it again and again. However, when I do it again I would opt to leaving out the basil from the boiling stage and just adding it when ready to eat. Personally, I don’t like the sight of cooked basil and I feel the taste disappears after all that boiling.
I love this recipe but would advise against using Ezekiel 4:9 noodles, they started to disintegrate before the sauce could thicken. Other than that I love this and the way all the flavored come together! Thank you for sharing!
If it’s good enough for the editors of MSL in Puglia…and it’s good enough for you, I will try this one! (I’ve also pinned it! Are you really not on Pinterest? It’s terrific. It helps me keep all my recipe in order…and waste time :)
Nice party trick, and it has a very high Goodness to Work (GTW) ratio. I used Campari tomatoes, organic DeCecco Penne, and heated vegetable stock. I read Alain Ducasse’s NYT article from 3/13/2002 for Olive Mill Pasta, and sauteed the onion but then added everything else, except basil, per Martha Stewart. It was ready by the time I made a salad (from my garden) and set the table. Another good recipe for when my garden tomatoes start ripening.
Ha! I did this for last night’s dinner and it turned out great. I was true to form, however, and added a jar of watered down spaghetti sauce in place of the 4 1/2 cups of broth as I did not have any on hand. Thanks for sharing an easy peasy lemony squeezy dinner recipe!
This was wonderful.
Any tips for additions to change this from a one-pan pasta to a one-pan meal by adding some kind of protein? Is there a time in the cooking process where an egg could be cracked in, or maybe raw shrimp added, or frankly any other meat/animal product?
Made it, ate it, and am still daydreaming about last night’s dinner here at my work desk… *big sigh*
My husband is rooting for more dinner items, since if I read about them in Flipboard on the bus on my way home, I have picked up the ingredients and am putting them together by the time he gets home. (I who typically only bake, otherwise.)
This was beyond terrific for so many reasons: fast, easy, delicious, pretty, and quick clean-up. Can’t imagine going back to the “other” way again. My 88-year mother ate two bowls and can’t wait to have leftovers tonight. And thank you, Tim, for weeding out the best of the best recipes for us so that we don’t have to! This pasta goes in the KEEPERS category along with the Gnudi recipe, the Creamy Tomato Soup recipe and the Malted Buttermilk Biscuit recipe. Next attempt: Blackberry, Honey and Yogurt Pops.
Made this last night. My husband and I looooved it. I checked my pasta after a few minutes, and it was cooked when there was still a fair amount of water left so I stopped cooking so it wouldn’t overcook. The water left combined with the ingredients made a most delicious sauce. A definite keeper. Can’t wait till my garden cherry tomatoes come in so I can use them/
I’ll admit: I was very, very skeptical of this recipe, but your endorsement plus the knowledge that it came from Martha Stewart’s kitchens (i.e. it was likely/hopefully tested extensively prior to publishing) has me curious.
I saw this recipe mentioned in the comments to a post at The Wednesday Chef this morning. I googled and found the original plus others, including yours.
I had everything on hand except the basil, so I made it for lunch. While I realize it changed the taste a bit, I substituted a big handful of spinach just for color in the dish and sprinkled it with flat-leaf parsley to serve.
About five minutes in to the boiling I was very skeptical that the water was going to cook down enough to make it saucy rather than soupy, but it did.
Both my daughter, who like spicier food than I do, and I thought it was a little too hot, so I’ll cut back on the amount of crushed red pepper next time. Other than that it was delicious. I see this being added to my repertoire of quick pantry meals.
I do think I’ll try it with some marinara or crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce added instead of cherry or grape tomatoes. I think it would be good without the tomatoes, too — kind of like spaghetti aglio e olio.
I just made this for dinner for my family and we really liked it. It tasted really natural and healthy. What I liked the most is that it didn’t have meat in it. Me and my grandma aren’t vegetarians, but my mom is and it was nice to make something that we could all enjoy. My grandma liked it so much she put it in her recipe book. Thank you!
It’s not a bad start to a dish. I made it last night. Next time I’ll probably double the tomatoes, cut down on the red pepper (for the kiddos), and as soon as the pasta is done toss it over fresh spinach.
Ok….I have to try this, but first, can I just use a one pound box of pasta? How much additional water would I add, maybe 1/2 cup? I have to feed 6 hungry people, 2 are teenaged boys…you get the picture.
Hi, Anne. In this recipe we’ve got 36 oz. of water for 12 oz. of pasta. (For the moment, we’re ignoring the other ingredients, and perhaps to our detriment). That leaves us with about 3 oz. of water per oz. of pasta. Increasing it to 16oz. pasta and keeping the same ratio brings us to 6 cups of water.
Now, I’ve run the calculations in two different ways, and I keep coming somewhere close to 6 cups water. Personally, I would start conservative with 5 cups of water and keep another cup handy. After a few minutes of boiling if you see that most of the water is absorbed and the pasta still isn’t cooked, then add the additional cup.
Also, if I was feeding 6, I’d make it with 2 pints of cherry tomatoes.
Loved it. Felt like a grow-up healthy version of ramen noodles (stop throwing things at me for saying that people).
Felt like in the end though that it was a bit higher on the noodle-veggie ratio and will try to rectify that the next time. That may be due to the fact that I generally make pasta like Bittman: 3 parts veggies to 1 part noodles.
Hey Anne (and everyone else)- Sure! As long as you have a huge skillet, it will be fine. I would only increase the water to 5 cups…I think it will be plenty. You could add a little more of the other stuff, but I don’t think it is necessary.
Also, for the record, I want to disagree (respectfully!) about adding “more” to this. I think the beauty of the recipe is that is is simple, and slight. I don’t think it needs jars of marinara, stock, or other vegetables. It feels very Italian as it. Just some well-flavored noodles. Of course, after your first go feel free to adapt as you like, but maybe try the simple version first.
I’m with Scoot because my husband, Scott, and football-playing son feel they need meat with their meal. Could I add some frozen meatballs? Or should I make them separately, which kinda defeats the one-pot ideal? Thanks, it’s a great idea, though.
Thanks for all of the updates, everyone. Glad to hear most of you are enjoying this.
Rebecca- You certainly could cook some meat separately and serve this as a side. I’m not sure how to incorporate it into the dish itself, seems tricky.
Tanya- I havent tried with gluten free noodles, hopefully someone else has and will let you know!
This was delicious! I was a little worried about half way through that the water wasn’t going to cook all of the way down but it did. It was nice and creamy but still had a freshness with the tomatoes and basil. I was tempted to use less salt but the dish really needs the 2 tsp. that is called for. This recipe gets a 10 in my book…fast, healthy, one pot and tasty!
Thanks for posting this!! As per Louise’s comment, I also looked up the Alan Ducasse recipe to see if I could get any inspiration since I was out of onions! Omitted said onion, but threw the sliced garlic in first with some butter and followed the rest of your recipe to a tee.
Still delicious without the onion! Could not believe how well it turned out for such easy steps. I served it with an italian sausage from Bi-rite Market on the side and dinner was made!
I made this the other day and although it tasted fine, it ended up being very rich. I’m not sure what I did wrong; I followed the instructions exactly but mine ended up being real starchy and the noodles clumped together. It didn’t look anything like yours :(
Just made this and my Italian genetics are drinking wine and dancing for joy! Yummy squared, and easy to the 10th power! My family adores it as well, which is great and all, but if they didn’t, I’d make it for just me, and wolf it all down in one sitting. In fact, it’s a shame I have to share…..
I was sad when I realised I’d left my cherry tomatoes at work and couldn’t follow the recipe to the letter as planned. Happy accident: I used a tin of chopped tomatoes and adjusted the water, and wow! With the tinned tomatoes it tastes just like cannelloni. As I used gluten free pasta too it really has the texture of that dish. Amazing. I really can’t wait to try the proper recipe as you posted it. Thanks!
I love this recipe so much! I’ve made it 3 times since you posted it and it’s just amazing. Easy, doesn’t take up too much time, and most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious. My picky-eater husband loves it to and has asked me to make it for dinner… again. So thanks for sharing this one!~ :D
This method works well for me, though i had fewer ingredients (onion, broccoli/calabrese)to go with the pasta. I used a volume of water about 1 1/2 times the measured volume of pasta, which produced a nice thick sauce, enhanced with pesto stirred in near the end. I also poached an egg in a silicone poaching ‘bowl’ in the 4 minutes before it was done. It made a tasty meal and I think uses less electricity than doing the meal in 2 pans… also less washing-up! Thank you for this. I like the rest of your blog too, thanks.
Thank for posting this recipe Tim! Add me to the list of people who experienced the following sequence of events:
1. Felt scepticism about recipe
2. Looked at all the people who experienced success
3. Tested the recipe
4. Loved the recipe and posted a note of gratitude
I just finished making this! We added broccoli and chicken breast (cooked separately and added at the end). I love it, but the family thinks that onions are still too crunchy for them, so next time I may start them first before adding the rest.
I was just going to opt with some ramen noodles for dinner, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I COULDN’T resist.
I was skeptical at first and gathered the ingredients with great reluctance, but it didn’t disappoint me at all! I loved every single part of it.
I personally added a little bit of tomato sauce and some pre-cooked chicken from another night’s meal.
It was great! Thanks for posting!
thanks for the recipe! i have made it 3 times and loved it. i love how fresh it tastes. i didn’t add anything. i like it as-is. (okay, maybe a little extra garlic!) and i love the onions. i was skeptical about putting in a whole onion the first time. but if you slice them nice and thin, they just blend in with the long pasta, and they add a nice texture. however, as you might expect, this dish is only as good as your tomatoes. i think mine were too acidic 2 out of the 3 times i made it…especially this last time. anyway, when my tomatoes are good and ripe (and sweet, not acidic!), i will make it again. good for leftovers too…
Thanks for checking in. Sugar might help, and is worth a try. I am generally not a huge fan of adding sugar to tomatoes, though I know a lot of people do this. I feel like I can always taste the lie. I think your plan to hold out for sweet tomatoes is a good one.
Well aware that I’m late to the table on this post. Saw this on Martha Stewart but did you happen to see Deb’s spin on this recipe at Smitten Kitchen? She uses farro instead of the pasta & it needs to cook just ten minutes longer. The farro version has become a staple this summer. The flavors of all the ingredients play so well together and the farro has just a bit of chew to make a really satisfying meal. Thanks for getting this post out there! Awesome dish!
I saw this one pot dish in the beginning of the summer and loved it! I added thin sliced zucchini to the dish for added veggies. The recipe that I have calls for a can of diced tomatoes so I used a can of organic fire roasted tomatoes and added extra tomatoes from my garden. I also added extra cheese. So yummy!
Whoa, Giusy! You’re taking this very seriously. The recipe is Italian, the editors of the magazine discovered it while traveling in Puglia. So, apparently this is (at least sometimes) how Italians make pasta. Buon appetito!
Hi Tim, SO glad I checked back into the comments section of this post. Ha. Not only did I make this (didn’t add anything extra, btw!) and it was fantastic, but I am living in Florence now and went out to a fabulous and traditional restaurant the other night, where I had pasta that I am 99% sure was cooked using this method. I could just tell–the noodles had absorbed so much flavor from the rest of the dish. Believe it, Giusy!
Just made this for dinner. My mother and brother loves it! Whenever my mom makes any pasta dish, she uses her ‘secret sauce’ so I thought I’d give it a try with this one. It works too. Haha! So glad I found this on tumblr. [:
I made this tonight because I’m going on a super long run tomorrow and wanted something simple and carby. I’m just mad I didn’t make this sooner! It’s really good and not just easy (and also, thank you, inexpensive and simple to prep.) Whee!
Tim! Didn’t have time to read all the comments above, so not sure if someone already wrote this, but I made this dish (again, for like the tenth time) today but substituted two of the cups of water for chicken broth. Even tastier!!!! Just though I’d write it here in case anyone was looking for a way to mix things up.
Made this for dinner tonight and loved it! I also added shrimp and used heirloom tomoatoes. Absolutely delicious! Next time however I’ll skip the red pepper – it was spicier than I would have liked. Thanks for the great recipe!
I made this for my family tonight and it was so easy and fantastic! I’m 17, and making it was super easy. The only thing was that it was a little spicy and it needed something so next time I’ll have to make some chicken or something with it. But it was super uber good and easy.
Thank you so much for sharing!!
Tried it with gluten-free corn flour pasta… I would not recommend it, the starch in the pasta made the sauce very (ironically) glutinous and sticky. The taste was wonderful though! Will definitely have to try with regular pasta. :)
Also, this sounds a lot like a dish we often got when we lived in Italy, but it usually had asparagus tips in it as well. If I wanted to add something like that, would I have to add a bit of water, too–is the liquid figured that precisely for this?