Behold, a recipe sized for one, born from my quarantine fatigue of store-bought jars of marinara sauce. Perfect as a lazy solo weeknight dinner after a long day of back-to-back Zoom calls. Bacon can be omitted to be vegetarian. —Leslie Zhang
rigatoni or penne pasta, dry
bacon, chopped (optional)
olive oil (omit if using bacon)
cherry and/or grape tomatoes, halved
cumin (seed or ground)
cayenne or chili powder
fresh parsley (optional)
In This Recipe
Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside. This can be done ahead of time or after step 4, while the tomatoes and pasta are cooking.
Add pasta to boiling, salted water. Cook until al dente (about 6 minutes).
In the meantime, add either chopped bacon or olive oil to a pan. Once bacon is sizzling or oil is hot, add shallots to pan.
Once shallots have bloomed, add your halved cherry and/or grape tomatoes. Generously salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook.
Once pasta is ready, do not drain. Scoop pasta directly from pot to pan. I use a cooking spoon, not a ladle, so just a little bit of pasta water comes along.
Sprinkle spice mix over everything. Add a touch more pasta water to combine.
Serve with an optional garnish of fresh parsley, side of whatever additional vegetable you'd like, and promptly inhale.