Everybody knows the way to cook pasta is to put it in a large pot of boiling, salted water, stir the pasta so it doesn’t stick, and continue on like that until the pasta is done. Checking the package instructions for a suggested cooking time is a good idea, as is testing a piece by biting it.
This recipe uses an entirely different method of cooking pasta: one where all the ingredients, including the sauce, go into one pot to be cooked together. I was skeptical. I had to try this out to see if it worked.
Here’s what happened.
Got most of the ingredients together.
Found I do not have a pot that is longer than spaghetti, so I broke the pasta into two pieces.
Chopped and sliced the tomatoes, basil, onions and garlic and added them to the pan with the other ingredients.
About 6 minutes in, the pot looked like this.
While the pasta was cooking, grated the Parmesan.
I did make some alterations to the recipe: I found it too salty, so the amount of salt has been reduced in my version. As well, I didn’t have enough onion, so I added a shallot to cover the difference. Finally, I added 1/2 cup of Parmesan to the pasta near the end of the cooking time to make the sauce creamier.
Here’s the original recipe:
12 ounces linguine
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
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 and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and water in a 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. Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan before serving, turning to mixture to melt the cheese into the sauce. Cooking time: about 9 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.