I love things simplified. I adore slow cooker meals and the satisfying, if somewhat exaggerated feeling of “having it all together and organized”, knowing I have dinner waiting for us when we get home. For this reason I’m also drawn to promises of “one pot wonders” that frequent many of my favourite cookbook authors sites and books. Also, because it’s summer, I just can’t get my head around using my slow cooker….to me it’s a Fall/Winter appliance.

One recipe that I have seen a few times is a One Pot Pasta dish created by the legendary Martha Stewart. She’s not my favourite cookbook author, but I was certainly intrigued by her promise of “easy and delicious”. With gorgeous fresh produce in abundance it seemed like the perfect time to test out this recipe. Upon reading reviews of her recipe I was shocked to see such a range. Everything from “disgusting slime” to “best dish ever”. Hmmm….how could the reviews differ so drastically? Upon further investigation, it seemed that the rave reviews used a higher quality pasta, and the poor reviews used a lesser quality. I interviewed my friends at Tre Sorelle and they gave me some good advice. I picked up several varieties of pasta to try from the grocery store and we were really happy with the results. The pasta may have been a little more expensive, but that worked out to about .50 cents per serving more….money well spent!

As luck would have it, our lovely Kelsey provided us with some garden fresh basil, and the remaining ingredients can be locally sourced from your next visit to the Farmers market!

Spaghetti pasta with basil and cherry tomatos
One Pot Pasta

454 grams good quality dry pasta
454 grams grape or cherry tomatoes (we used a colourful blend)
1 onion – thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic – thinly sliced
2 bunches of basil – stems removed, plus extra for pretty garnish
Olive oil – few “glugs” or, 1 – 2 T
4 1/2 cups of vegetable stock or water
1 – 2 teaspoons salt *if using water*
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pepper to taste

Arrange all ingredients in deep saucepan or stock pot. Bring to a boil. Using tongs, turn pasta regularly to ensure even cooking and avoid noodles sticking together. Continue for about 9 minutes or until al dente.
*If using vegetable stock, you may wish to omit salt altogether.
**Garnish and season to taste with basil leaves, salt and pepper, parmesan (vegan or dairy) or other cheeses. This recipe would lend itself well to adding greens such as baby spinach after the pasta is cooked. The heat of the pasta will nicely wilt the spinach leaves. If you give this a try we hope you enjoy, and would love your feedback!