One-Pan Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Pasta

by Kate on October 27, 2013

One Pan Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Pasta

The leaves are getting crunchier, days are getting shorter, sunlight has become like gold, and usually by the time I get home, it’s pitch black and all I want to do is get in my jammies and dial the closest take out establishment. Planning meals ahead of time is crucial during the week, and making sure that they’re easy to prepare is even more important. My first week back to work, in the midst of a panic attack when it was 7pm and there was nothing in the house for dinner and the thought of having a root canal was more appealing than going to Market Basket, I said to Dave “I need help” – so I put him on the hunt for dinner ideas. Easy dinner ideas.

And then this weird thing has happened – he wants to actually MAKE some of them. What? Really?

So last week, I passed the kitchen baton to him, feeling strange to sit on the couch while he diced and chopped and stirred.

“Do you need help?


“Can I do anything?”


“Are you sure?”

“Yep. Relax. Have wine”.

{Is this real life?}.

One Pan Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Pasta

When it was ready, I looked down to a beautiful pasta dish that I was sure was going to wipe out any workout calories I’d earned that night.¬† At first glance, all super healthy ingredients – fresh basil – tomatoes – whole wheat pasta –¬† but in this creamy sauce that had to be bad for you. I mean, the words creamy and jiggly go hand in hand. And Dave adds butter to just about everything, even when it’s totally unnecessary, so I knew I was in for it.

So I asked…

“How much butter?”


“Shut up, how much”


He pulled up the recipe and I read it over – not a lick of butter. What was the secret? It was all cooked in one pan – pasta, veggies, water. Everything. So as the pasta cooks in the water, it emits this pasta goodness (I’m sure there’s a more technical term for it) and creates a layer of thickness¬† that you’d never get if you just boiled water, tossed the pasta in to cook, and then mixed it all in with the veggies after it was cooked. When I tell you that this was like eating a rich, unhealthy, drawstring-pants-worthy pasta dish that you’d spend the next week working off, I am not lying. We even made it again only a few days later (well, so I could photograph it) and because it was just that good.

The spell has been broken. Husbands can cook.

(And these are my first ‘indoor’ pics of the season – come back natural light…..come baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack)

One-Pan Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

From Martha Stewart


  • 12 ounces whole wheat fettucini
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (this will make it quite 'hot' - if you're not a spicy fan, I would recommend cutting this in half, or even just eliminating it)
  • 2 sprigs basil (about 8 leaves) plus chopped leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 & 1/2 cups water
  • *Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


1) Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, salt, pepper, and water in a large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9-11 minutes.

2) Season to taste with more salt and pepper and garnish with chopped basil. Serve with extra olive oil and grated parmesan.

*We used both boxed pasta and fresh pasta. If you're using boxed pasta, you can incorporate it with the other ingredients from the beginning. If you're using fresh pasta, the pasta cooks faster, so you want to bring everything to a boil, let the veggies cook for a couple of minutes, and then add the pasta as it will cook much faster.

Meg F. October 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Ummm. This is AMAZING. Totes putting this on the menu :)

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