One Pot Tomato & Basil Pasta

As much as I enjoy cooking pastas, I tend to avoid tomato pasta recipes. I've found they almost always turn out too acidic for my taste and lack the fresh flavor of the tomato I love so much. This one-pot recipe is the solution to that problem.

The idea here is to let the sauce and pasta cook in the same water. As the liquid reduces, the sauce retains all the flavors of the different ingredients. It's about as easy a pasta dish to make as you can imagine and it works like a charm.

The original version of this recipe came from a Martha Stewart Living cookbook but I tweaked it a pretty good bit.


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups water
  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 12 oz linguine
  • 2 tbs basil, sliced thin
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan until shimmering and beginning to smoke. Add onion and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

Add chicken broth and cook until starting to boil. Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and stir until mixed.

Add the water, cherry tomatoes and sprigs basil, turn to high and cover. Cook until at a rolling boil. Uncover and add the linguine. Turn heat to medium-high. Stir regularly until the water has nearly evaporated, about ten minutes.

Remove the basil sprigs. Add the sliced basil and Parmesan cheese. Cook for another two or three minutes stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.