We’ve had a few one-pot dishes lately. There’s something about using fewer pots and pans and a meal that’s ready all at once, that I can’t ignore, especially one that taunts us with pasta, water and all the sauce ingredients in one pot. How can that be?

I came across this one-pan dish quite awhile ago when it made the rounds apparently originating from this Martha Stewart Living recipe.

Linked to that same recipe was a video that explained how to slice garlic, which I imagined to be a insider tip perhaps using dental floss or the Goodfellas razor blade technique, Pauly style.

Before I get to the garlic slicing video, let’s discuss Martha Stewart whose presence on television I usually find quite comforting. Her painstakingly methodical how-tos soothe me into a better life, and that’s a good thing. But Martha as just a voiceover is another thing. Her narration, without the visual is almost startling, not your typical bubbly Youtuber energy. But it’s Martha, so you come to terms with her gender-mysterious voice set on low and ready for the big lesson, the big secret tip to all of life’s garlic slicing perfection. The instructional video begins, telling us first to “remove the garlic’s outer casing.” Uh huh, okay, phew, I did it. Now, what’s next and don’t keep me waiting. Step two, “we slice the garlic with a knife.” Step three, “the end.” Honestly, I used less time recording my daughter’s dance recitals.

I believe we’re all reasonably smart folks but now think, who out there was perplexed about slicing garlic? Or worse, maybe Martha thought none of us peasants will know how to put knife to clove without a visual handholding. She thought, these are same the people who can only make dinner in one pan.

Let’s face it, a basic pasta dish with your favorite jarred sauce will be the fastest kind of dinner, but the fresh produce and herbs make the momentary prep work for this concoction make it all worth it.

simple pasta

one-pan, garden fresh pasta meal

In the absence of even the most admirably prepared pasta sauce, you will need to be generous with salt and seasonings for most palates. With growing kids and the need for flavor boost, we’ve included Italian sausages which we cooked briefly with the other ingredients and then seared them in a smaller fry pan – breaking the one-pot intention. You could leave the links in the pot and then slice when ready to serve, but we prefer a crispier casing.

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 sweet (or hot) Italian sausages (optional)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1/2- 3/4 tsp red-pepper flakes (depending on your heat preference)
  • 6-8 basil leaves torn into quarters or smaller + a few leaves for garnish
  • 2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving
  1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 4 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture on an easy rumble, stirring and turning pasta frequently.  The pasta mixture will cook for about 9 minutes total.
  3. Heat a dash of oil small pan fry pan.
  4. After the links have cooked in the boiling pot for about 2 minutes, transfer them to a small fry pan to get a nice sear on the outer casings. Turn occasionally.
  5.  When the pasta is al dente (mostly soft, but toothsome) and water has nearly evaporated, remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Add parmesan cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper, and gently turn one more time.
  7. Divide among 4 bowls or serve in a larger bowl.  Garnish with basil, parmesan, a splash of olive oil.

recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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