One-Pan Pasta (with Variations)

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced (or 4 tsps. of jarred garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly grated/shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (the linguine should lay flat).

Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs or a fork, 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 olive oil and Parmesan.

Variations

  • Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe: Brown the sausage first, then add the rest of the ingredients: pasta, water, broccoli rabe, olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes. Finish with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Rotelle (or cavatelli, or mini conchiglie) with corn, shallots, lemon zest, butter, salt and pepper. Finish with mascarpone, tarragon, and basil.
  • Rigatoni (or rigatoni corti, or casarecci), balsamic vinegar, capers, olive oil, eggplant, garlic, salt, and pepper. Finish with mozzarella or ricotta salata, toasted pine nuts, parsley, and Parmesan.
  • Cacio e Pepe: Pasta, water, salt, and cracked black pepper, and grated Pecorino. Some would add butter, too. Finish with additional Pecorino.
  • Bolognese: Brown off the meat first, then add wine to deglaze and the rest of ingredients—carrots, onions, (all minced super finely in a food processor), sprigs of thyme, bay leaf, a can of tomatoes (or keep it white and add milk), salt and pepper, a Parmesan rind.
  • Miso ramen with ramen noodles or soba. Ginger, garlic, miso, scallions, napa cabbage, and crack an egg into it at the last two minutes; finish with sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and fresh scallions or cilantro. If you reduce the cooking liquid as with the others, this would be a dry ramen, a mazeman style.
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