If you’ve noticed things are a bit quieter than usual around here, you’re right.  I have been extra busy at work lately, and while I love it, it’s definitely tiring.  Of course when I get home, I’ve got my two babes to attend to, and soak up as much time as I can with them before they head to bed.  And then once they are in bed, it’s study till I drop/fall asleep on my books.  We’re still cooking, and I have some great new recipes to share but just not much free time to write about them at the moment.

That’s why this recipe seemed especially apt.  I’m telling you, it is some kind of small miracle.  The first time I made it was when Caroline and I were home alone for lunch together.  I wanted something more than just a PB&J, but it needed to be quick.  I remembered this recipe I had saved recently and decided to give it a try.  (If it didn’t work out, the jar of peanut butter was still there waiting.)  It may seem too good to be true, but it’s legit.  It takes all of 5 minutes to throw the ingredients together in a pot, a little bit longer to cook, and you end up with a fantastic dish.  It is so very simple, but has so much flavor.  Served alongside a green veggie, it’s one of the best simple dinners I can think of.  I’m sure it will see lots more play in our kitchen through this crazy busy time!  (Side note: the first time we made this, we had broccoli as our side.  Now every time, Caroline expects to see broccoli on her plate.  So cute!)


12 oz. pasta
12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 sprigs fresh basil
2 tbsp. olive oil
4½ cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  • 01

    Combine the pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, olive oil and water in a large stockpot.  Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has almost all evaporated.  (This time may vary slightly depending on the type and shape of pasta you use, so just keep an eye on it.)

  • 02

    Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan.

  • Shannon

    I’m changing my lunch plan to this today! This sounds much more appealing than the PW spinach artichoke pasta I had planned. It’s hard to get excited about a heavy pasta dish in 90 degree heat, but this one looks light and perfect.

  • HalfBakedHarvest

    Mmm! I love a good easy past for a quick weeknight meal! This looks great!

  • stevierae5

    Annie to the rescue! I’ll be using whole wheat pasta, canned tomatoes, and dried basil, so probably won’t be nearly as good as the original, but you work with what you have!

  • lizardmom

    This is a cooked version of one our favorite summer pastas- to make a yummy fresh version of this- leave out the onions, rest of the ingredients remain, Combine all ingredients while cooking pasta- the salt will bring out the moisture from the tomatoes. Drain the pasta- toss the veggies with the pasta, add a bit more olive oil if desired. The finishing touch is sliced avocado and fresh parmesan. I’ll give the cooked one a try and I think you’ll enjoy the fresh version

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    One pot pasta is so fun – and soooo easy! Love this!

  • Sarah Kay

    I saw this in Martha Stewart as well and gave it a try! Definitely easy, quick, and tasty! =)

  • Kelsey

    Love easy meals like this for hectic days. Wish I lived closer so I could cook dinner and bring it over for you!

  • I made the version of this with farro that smitten kitchen made! Now I think I should make it with pasta!

  • Mindy Pannell

    Sounds like a super busy time in your life! I’ve been checking in on the site everyday waiting for the September Favorite Things…but I guess you get a pass on that! :D This looks like a easy and yummy meal.

  • annieseats

    Ha! Glad you enjoy those enough to look for them :) I actually will probably post one soon. I just always wait until I have enough things accumulated to justify a post. I don’t want to throw in a bunch of stuff that’s only okay just for the sake of posting, you know?

  • annieseats

    Oh you sweetheart. I would totally love that, of course :)

  • Have bookmarked this to try soon! I love quick and easy recipes like this. The older I get, the less time I feel like spending in the kitchen.

  • Caroline L.

    Miss seeing you so consistently round these parts, but family time and study time is definitely much more important! This pasta has my belly rumbling already – it looks SO wonderful and easy to make!

  • Meghan K.

    Confession: a few weeks ago I tried a version of this recipe that had been modified (canned tomatoes and dried herbs) by another blogger, without realizing that the source recipe called for fresh tomatoes and basil. Frankly, we were underwhelmed by the modifications and had no desire to make the recipe again. After seeing your post I put two and two together and put this on the menu for dinner last night to give it a second try. It was absolutely fabulous! The fresh ingredients make all the difference and needless to say, the previous copy of the recipe has been tossed out. Thank you for sharing this one!

  • Denise

    I clipped this recipe out the magazine, too. It is delicious and quick; I make it almost once a week.

  • Mindy Pannell

    Totally makes sense. My wardrobe thanks you for the fun additions!

  • I love the ease and simplicity of this! Quick, weeknight meals are a must at our house!

  • AwesomeSibe

    This is my new fave for quick delicious meal. I love the ease of preparation, and cleaning but most of all the taste.