I’m very particular about my pasta.
It has to be perfectly cooked. That’s number one.
Number two is that it needs to be damn good.
Although those two requirements seem like pretty obvious expectations, let me tell you—they’re rarely met. That came off really snooty didn’t it? The truth is, I just get a disproportionate amount of pleasure eating good food. Luckily, I don’t think cheap food and snootiness can be paired together, so I think I’m safe. Pasta is definitely cheap and completely soothes my soul.
We all know that it’s way too easy to overcook pasta, and that is exactly why I’ve stayed at arm’s length from the one-pan pasta dishes that have kind of swept the foodinet as of late.
I went to Italy and I was inspired to make a one-pan pasta. I know that sounds incredibly counterintuitive because it’s not the “right way” to make pasta, but let me tell you why it makes every bit of sense in this case.
I had the best pasta of my life there and yet it was so simple. The ingredients were fresh and of great quality, and they used fresh homemade pasta that had such a nice, chewy and al dente texture. I’m obviously not using fresh homemade pasta in this recipe, but I wanted to replicate that wonderful texture, while keeping it all very easy and quick. The answer to that was in fact this one-pan pasta.
The trick is to add just the right amount of liquid and to cook it until it is soft, yet chewy and al dente. Don’t cook it past that point. The hot ingredients will continue cooking the pasta once you take it off the heat, so the moment your pasta is al dente, turn off that burner.
The starch from the pasta is retained in the sauce and makes the pasta texture perfect and the sauce light, while kind of creamy without having added any cream.
The flavors are simple but perfect. Fragrant garlic, ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and lots and lots of good parmesan cheese make this the ultimate one-pan pasta.
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- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- 6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 16 ounces Fettuccine Pasta
- 2 Fresh Tomatoes, cut into big chunks
- 1 handful of Fresh Basil, chopped, and a tad extra to top the finished pasta
- 28 ounces Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
- 14 ounces (a splash less than 2 cups) Water
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 2 cups of good Parmesan, grated (My favorite is Sarvecchio Parmesan)
- Add oil to a large pan on med-high heat that is at least 2 ½ inches deep.
- Add chili flakes and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds or until nicely fragrant.
- Remove pan from heat and add pasta, fresh tomatoes, basil, crushed tomatoes, water, and sea salt.
- Cook on med-high heat for about 10 minutes or just until the liquid is mostly evaporated and pasta is al dente.
- Serve with a good handful of parmesan and some fresh basil on top of each bowl of pasta. Enjoy! 🙂