Is there a specific ratio of pasta to water for this kind of recipe? This looks delicious, but far too much for one person.

Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta
Recipe question for: Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta


amysarah August 29, 2015
It just occurred to me that this is pretty much the same idea as an orzo side dish I've been doing forever - saute some onion or shallot in olive oil or butter, quickly toast the orzo in the pan with it, then add broth or water, s&p and let cook until the orzo is done and only enough liquid remains to form a "sauce." If you like, stir in whatever fresh herb, and/or a bit of grated parm. I always thought of it as a quick quasi pilaff/risotto kind of thing, but it's not far afield of this. (Also works with Israeli cous-cous, Acini di Pepe, or any other tiny pasta.)
trampledbygeese August 29, 2015
I've become quite fond of this style of cooking pasta. It's a lot like a medieval pasta pottage than normal pasta, but still delicious.

The little clay pot is still my favourite, as the slow cooking seems to make it even more delicious than a metal pot. I like how the flavour of the sauces infuse with the pasta. Instead of being sauce plus pasta, the pasta is part of the sauce.

For me, it's the portion size that is the problem with the original recipe. Half a cup of short pasta is more than ample for me for a meal. I would rather the calories come from the sauce rather than from the base. Quite often I'll have the pasta amount and replace it with cauliflower.

In the little clay pot, I can measure out the pasta, put the water to almost cover it, then add in whatever I have to hand which is usually garden veg, garlic, dry tomatoes, a few drops of hot sauce, and on occasion some protein like tuna, cooked chickpeas or bacon. Using a big pot I would have to measure out the water which never seems to work for me. Each brand and shape of pasta seems to want different water ratios, so it's much easier for me to let the pasta be the judge of how much water it wants rather than try to guess.

Susan W. August 29, 2015
I totally agree that the pasta absorbs a lot more flavor with this method. I measure out 2 ounces of pasta and start with 3/4 cup water, but have more on hand. Sometimes I need it, sometimes I don't. I seem to always want basil, garlic and tomatoes with this. It works great with Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce with butter and onion. My stomach is growling.
Smaug August 28, 2015
This recipe seems to inevitably vary with practically everything- the pan you use, the type of pasta, the humidity, the altitude, how hard your water is,how done you consider correct, the characteristics of the stove... If you want consistent results you'd have to experiment. Seems easier to me just to cook the pasta separately- at least for a home cook, who doesn't get a lot of repetitions. If you want to call it one pan, this sort of quantity of pasta can be boiled very well in a skillet, then held for a few minutes while you put together a sauce.
Susan W. August 29, 2015
What you are stating applies to many recipes and some of what you say applies to all recipes. I get a kick out of this dish. Unusual way to cook pasta and especially when I'm just cooking for myself, I enjoy the one pot process cooking everything together at once. It may be the novelty more than anything else, but I enjoy it thoroughly.
Smaug August 29, 2015
Yeah, it's frequently the answer to "exactly how much of ... should I use". Yet people keep asking. Heck fire, people want you to tell them exactly how much water to give their houseplant- "some kind of fern, I think". The world isn't that simple.
Susan W. August 28, 2015
I make it for just me all the time. For me, 2 ounces of dried pasta is a serving. So, if I remember right, I needed 3/4 cup water. I think I had to add a little more a couple of times. It's a recipe you need to play with. If 3 ounces is a serving for you, just divide the water by 4 or 1 cup plus 2 TBS.
Susan W. August 28, 2015
Oh sheesh...old question and I think Trampled made this multiple times successfully.
702551 August 28, 2015
The recipe clearly states "serves 4." Divide quantities by four for a single portion.
Diana B. August 3, 2014
Spaghetti on toast. Spaghetti on toast with broken crisps. Spaghetti in a frittata. Frittata on toast. The things that are clearly worth trying which I learned in this thread are endless! I loathe leftovers, so anything that lets me recycle them in an interesting way is all good. Food52 rocks!!!
trampledbygeese August 4, 2014
I love this site! This is such a wonderful group of people, great articles, always fun things to learn. If you are feeling really brave, add a generous helping and a half of your favourite curry powder to fried pasta, serve with well buttered toast. Heck, I even made a pot of curry once with leftover pasta as a base. Fried an onion, added one of the pataks curry paste and cooked for a min or two, then add pasta, can of chickpeas (drained) and some liquid (beer I think). Heat really well, serve with poppadoms. It wasn't bad, but then again, curry fixes everything.
trampledbygeese August 2, 2014
I tried making one pot pasta again, this time I put the short pasta in the bottom of the small clay pot and just barely covered it with water, then added the extra ingredients. This seems to work well for short pasta.

The korean cooking bowl is great for more than just bebimbap. Though it does makes fantastic stove top rice. I like it for just about any one-pot meal because it's easy to clean and limits my portion size. Also, there is something tastier about being forced to cook at a lower heat.

Please forgive my ignorance but I've been wondering, why cook a whole bag of pasta at once instead of measuring out portions? Large households to feed? Leftover pasta is delicious, sure, but eating the same sauce more than two days in a row gets boring for me. I'm probably just weird in that I like to cook a different pasta and sauce every day. I never know what I'm going to feel like eating tomorrow.
Susan W. August 2, 2014
I am the opposite of you. I love leftovers. Either repurposed or in original form. My lunch is often dinner from the night before. I sometimes make enough for 4 just to avoid cooking every day. Especially in the summer. I also don't mind eating the same thing multiple times. :0)
trampledbygeese August 2, 2014
I'm not completely anti-leftovers, just easily board. Leftovers, for me, are the side dish of tomorrow. Or better still, the ingredients of tomorrow. A roast becomes cold meat side the next day, leftover from that becomes a curry, which becomes the topping for a pizza...and so on and so forth until it's gone. Just so long as it's not the same two days running, I'm a happy girl.
trampledbygeese August 1, 2014
Fried leftover spaghetti is the second best breakfast ever - after cold pizza. But really I have limited fridge space right now.

Though I cook pasta pretty much daily, I usually only cook about 1/2 cup of short pasta for myself at a time then make a sauce out of whatever looks good in the garden/cupboard. If I'm extra hungry, I add more vegi's or lentils to the sauce.

I gave this a try last night after I turned my computer off - well a version of it since I forgot to write it down. I have this tiny korean clay pot, a bit smaller than a cereal bowl, that I love to cook in. It's great because it doubles as a serving dish and it retains the heat for about an hour after it leaves the stove. I put the pasta on the bottom and added water till it covered the pasta and some. Added sun dried tomatoes in oil (with a few drops of the oil), olive chopped up stuff in a jar, capers, salt & pepper. Oh and garlic, lots of fresh garden garlic. Heated it up on medium-low till boiling, then simmered till the water was just about gone, then stirred in grated goats cheese. Very tasty, but too much water. The pasta got quite soggy.

I think just trial and error to find the right ratio will be the way to go.
Susan W. August 1, 2014
I made half the recipe tonight and it was just right. I have that same Korean bowl. I use it for my bebimbap, but not for this dish. :)
Kristen M. August 1, 2014
Leftover pasta is also great in a frittata, which is, in turn, great in sandwiches!
Susan W. August 1, 2014
Oooo..I never thought to use leftover frittata in a sandwich. I know what I am making this weekend..starting with Martha's pasta and ending with a frittata sanny. :0)
Marian B. August 1, 2014
So meta!
Catherine L. August 1, 2014
It's true! We did a #bestovers of it, and now I'm pretty hooked. I'm intrigued in this whole cold pasta + bolognese on bread with butter...
trampledbygeese August 1, 2014
There are so many leftovers that go great on toast! Not just pasta and beans. You would be amazed at how a slice of (preferably stale) good bread and pat of real butter can do for leftovers. Off to see if I can find the #bestovers, is it in columns or recipes?
Susan W. August 1, 2014
Marian Bull, I love that you said "so meta". So underutilized.

Catherine Lamb, a thick layer of unsalted Kerrygold with a sprinkling of flake sea salt is the modern version of Papou's sandwich. If you cut it on the diagonal, it actually looks quite pretty.

Susan W. August 1, 2014
Lindsay-jean, it is made with cold, leftover spaghetti and meat sauce originally. It was a favorite breakfast of my Papou's. Maybe he overindulged in Ouzo the night before. :0) I think this pasta recipe just might make a fabulous rendition.
Lindsay-Jean H. August 1, 2014
I'm intrigued, I'll have to give it a shot!
Susan W. July 31, 2014
It calls for 12oz pasta and 4.5 cups water, so I would just halve the entire recipe. You may have some leftover, but it will make a nice midnight snack or tomorrows lunch. Have you had a spaghetti sandwich on white bread with butter? Omg..pure joy. Cutting it down more than half may compromise the recipe.
Lindsay-Jean H. August 1, 2014
Okay, very curious -- so does the sandwich involve plain spaghetti noodles? Or noodles dressed in tomato sauce?
amysarah August 1, 2014
Spaghetti on toast (kind of an open faced sandwich) is a popular old school British thing. I recall seeing it there, and my British grad school roommate used to make it - Heinz beans on toast too - when she was homesick. We're talking spaghetti with bottled sauce, nothing fancy. She swore by it.
trampledbygeese August 1, 2014
Spaghetti Toast = fantastic! I remember my flatmate use to top it with crisps (potato chips). From the bottom up - white toast, thick slather of butter, reheated tomato pasta, the broken bits of crisps from the bottom of the packet. Then usually a big dollop of brown sauce, but personally I think the brown sauce is unnecessary. Sometimes he would put it under the grill with cheese before adding the crisp crumbs. Any tomato based leftover pasta would do, he never found the need to be fussy.
amysarah August 1, 2014
How could I forget the HP sauce! Yes, so many things were doused with it. I got to be fond of Marmite, but never quite got the HP love...maybe it has to be in your DNA, like American yellow mustard or Hershey's chocolate. Though not on a spaghetti sandwich ;)
Heidi R. August 28, 2015
I started with chicken stock (to make garlic and oil) and just watched it. No idea how much pasta I used (but am single, so tried to do 1/4). Added water as needed to no ill effects.
Recommended by Food52