Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This pasta cooks entirely in one pan (without boiling water first) and makes its own sauce, all in about 9 minutes. Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart Living (June 2013)Genius Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min


  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves of 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
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In This Recipe


  1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (the linguine should lay flat).
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs or a fork, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with olive oil and Parmesan.

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Reviews (114) Questions (1)

114 Reviews

MrsK July 24, 2018
I made this recipe several times. I always use chicken broth instead of water and it comes out simply delicious. I also use whole wheat pasta and a bit less liquid. Simply perfect.
babyboibelcher July 21, 2018
Made this last night for some guests. Used a ratio of half chicken broth/water and added some prosciutto. Paired it with some honey white wine. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
msmely June 14, 2018
Made this this afternoon with a 13.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes and dried basil. I feel like I could have turned the pot down a bit as without constant stirring on high it'll definitely stick even if you babysit it. I only used 1tsp of salt as my can of tomatoes had a bit of salt in it.
Laura L. September 2, 2017
Perfection! Did not change a thing.
Louise B. May 15, 2017
Have made this 4 times, last time added chopped roasted red peppers and tomatoes. Added grated assiago cheese, and shrimp. Absolutely delicious.
Marghet August 31, 2016
Just made this and it was so good and easy! After reading the comments, I also put in 4 cups of water, but for us the noodles were really al dente so I let it hang out a little longer. Also, I sauteed the onions and garlic until they were soft before adding the rest of the ingredients. It was great! Love spicy so I added more red pepper flakes than it called for. Will make again!
anne R. August 18, 2016
I made this last night after reading several comments below. I used Safeway brand pasta (don't judge me) with 4 cups of water - not 4.5. I kept it on a hardy boil and kept stirring the pasta so it would not stick to the pot. It came out great. I transferred it to a waiting bowl pretty quick to slow the cooking.
glasshalfmd August 9, 2016
I decided to try this recipe again after finding it very flawed when I first made it two years ago. Once again, the liquid did not cook down fast enough (despite using a broad skillet and a powerful burner), so in order to save the pasta from overcooking I had to lift it all out of the sauce after 8 or 9 minutes- at which point it was perfectly al dente- and add it back to the properly reduced sauce 6 or so minutes later. I wonder whether many who love this recipe have a higher tolerance of soft pasta than I do. I can imagine this might work with about 2.5 cups of water.
karenbamonte August 9, 2016
I cooked it exactly as it is written and also refuse to eat anything but al denote pasta, it has worked perfectly every time. Perhaps the pasta here in Italy is made differently than in the U.S.
glasshalfmd August 9, 2016
I used pasta made in Italy (and cut on copper does) on both occasions. I guess the bottom line is that this recipe doesn't have a high degree of what statisticians would call inter-rater reliability.
Jamie August 9, 2016
I use De Cecco linguine. Maybe the brand makes a difference?
JoAnna August 8, 2016
I made this tonight with tomatoes that were picked this morning. I didn't have an onion, so I omitted that, and I used whole wheat spaghetti instead of linguine. Garnished with some pecorino. Wow. I will be making this a lot for the rest of the summer!
Jamie July 13, 2016
Love the simplicity of this recipe. I add 1/2 c Parmesan at the end off heat. Don't over cook the pasta. Check the pasta at 8 minutes for al dente. I haven't gone beyond 9" and it's perfect every time.
Jeanette D. June 21, 2016
I've made this three times now, and it has been fantastic each time. I even used spaghetti and it came out fine. I do add a dollop of tomato paste at the beginning, and then just a bit of heavy cream at the end. If you let it sit for a few minutes off the heat, the sauce thickens up quite nicely.
Shortrib March 29, 2016
I'm with the gooey crowd on this one. It's got a very different consistency from the standard pasta plus sauce method. Apparently you love it or you don't. Interesting experiment but I won't make it again.
Tanya January 17, 2016
Disgusting. .Definitely will not do this again. .
Deisi R. November 21, 2015
Nothing to eat at home and no desire to leave the house. I remembered this episode and realized we had the ingredients. I told my fiancé and he did not believe one could cook pasta like that. It was simply AMAZING and now we can't stop talking about it! Thanks a million! Deisi and Greg
Marion B. November 7, 2015
This is a great recipe. In my opinion, the most important thing is to cook the pasta at a robust boil so the water will evaporate appropriately but still be enough to turn into a creamy sauce. To give it a flavor boost, I lightly rub the pan with olive oil, heat it for a minute or two, and then place 3 slices of prosciutto in the pan and cook it for 5 minutes or so until mostly crispy. Remove the prosciutto from the pan, drain on a paper towel and crumble. Add the other ingredients and follow the recipe EXCEPT reduce the salt to at least half of what's called for (partially to compensate for the saltiness of the prosciutto and partially because the amount of salt called for in the original recipe is too much). When plating, sprinkle the prosciutto over the pasta along with the basil, parmesan, and olive oil. Delish!!
Scott E. October 29, 2015
What others call creamy, I call "starchy disgusting mess."
Scott E. October 29, 2015
Disgusting. Everything stuck to the bottom of the pan like crazy, and the tomatoes were dead long before the pasta was done
BR95510 October 29, 2015
Perhaps the pan was too hot?? I had great success with this dish, even over a campfire! I'd encourage you to give it one more try.
I_Fortuna October 29, 2015
Although the recipe should be brought to a boil, the heat can be turned down and boiling will continue. Leaving the heat too high will definitely cause food to stick.
Also, this is a dish that one needs to stand over , watch and stir frequently for it to be successful. It is done in a short time so everything else should be prepared in order to concentrate on this, the final dish.
In addition. testing the pasta fairly frequently to determine if it is al dente is advisable. This is a no fail recipe but one must watch closely and test. : )
keg72 October 8, 2015
I made this for dinner last night and thought it was great -- it was very silky. I'd be interested in trying to add a pat of butter to the finished dish next time to amp up the silkiness even further.
Henny B. October 5, 2015
What type of onion? White, yellow, red... does it matter?
Sharon B. December 28, 2016
Either white or yellow; red onions turn a funky color when sautéed in a dish like this.
I_Fortuna September 18, 2015
I am very picky about al dente pasta and don't like the idea of one pot pasta dishes as I fear over cooking but this looks delicious. : )