For the last few weeks I’ve been living every cliche about corporate life that you can think of: 70-80 hour weeks, working on the weekends, eating breakfast/lunch/dinner in front of a computer screen, not enough sleep and zero exercise. (This is my life. And also this). It’s been stressful but exciting and challenging too. I’m learning a lot.* I’m full of adrenaline at the moment and I haven’t found an outlet for it. I need a holiday, enough time to go for a good, long run and a night out with my friends. Stuff it. I need all three. But until work calms down and/or I get better at switching off, it’s a struggle to hang out in my kitchen for much longer than it takes to make toast. And so, 10 minute meals are where it’s at.
Thankfully, I think the universe could tell that I needed a break and threw this recipe for one pot pasta my way. It is the ultimate in quick, easy, delicious dinners. Jamie Oliver can take a hike. (Not really – love you Jamie!). It’s done in under 15 minutes, uses pantry staples and tastes like summer in a bowl which is a very welcome thing right now – it’s been pouring rain for the best part of two weeks here in Sydney. I was sceptical when I first saw the recipe – how could an onion that is essentially boiled (and for less than 10 minutes at that!) taste anything other than repulsive? Honestly, I don’t know how it’s possible but that onion softens and takes on the sweetness of the oil and tomatoes and basil and the whole thing becomes this fresh, starchy, creamy mess of noodles. Don’t question it. Just eat.
350 g spaghetti or linguine
350 g cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
Leaves torn from 3 sprigs of basil, plus more for serving
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Flakey sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 c water
Freshly grated parmesan, for serving
1. Combine the pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilli flakes, basil, olive oil, 2 tsp sea salt (it feels like a lot but go ahead and add it – the finished dish will be better for it), 1/2 tsp pepper and the water in a large straight-sided pan or pot (I used a Le Creuset pot). Bring to the boil over high heat. Boil, stirring from time to time, until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed most of the water, about 9-11 minutes (linguine will take longer than spaghetti).
2. Remove the pot from the heat and season to taste. Divide the pasta among four bowls and serve drizzled with olive oil (please, don’t skip this step!), more basil and lots of parmesan. Enjoy! (I was practically stupefied as I ate my first bowl of this magical stuff – how is it possible that such a simple, delicious idea never occurred to me before).