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One Pot Pasta

A classic version of the very popular one pot pasta recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4


  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 - 2 c red bell pepper, sliced
  • 250 g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 500 g spaghetti
  • 30 g tomato paste Sundried tomato pesto is also nice
  • 200 g tinned cherry tomato Crushed or chopped tinned tomato will work fine too
  • dried chilli flakes to taste Or fresh chopped chilli
  • 15 ml dried oregano
  • 1 L vegetable stock
  • ½ tin water Use the empty tomato tin
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 handful basil leaves or up to 2 T basil pesto
  • grated hard cheese to serve
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Add the olive oil to a large pan or braiser with straight sides. Fry the onion till translucent, but not browned. * See note
  • Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds till fragrant.
  • Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the chilli flakes, origanum, stock, tinned tomatoes, water and tomato paste and mix.
  • Add the spaghetti and make sure it is covered with the liquid. Season to taste.
  • Cook for 8 - 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. You can also turn the pasta with tongs as Martha Steward suggests.
  • After ten minutes most of the liquid should have cooked away. Add the spinach and basil leaves and check the seasoning.
  • Serve immediately with grated parmesan or another type of hard cheese.


  • Most One Pot Pasta recipes just call for combining all the ingredients and bringing the pan to a boil. You can just do that, but I always like to build some flavour by frying and browning the aromatics beforehand. It really only takes an extra 5 minutes and it gives the dish extra flavour and colour.
  • Martha's original recipe called for halved cherry tomatoes, but many recipes use tinned tomatoes. I like tinned cherry tomatoes as they are slightly sweeter, but still has the cherry tomato shape.
  • If you have a hard cheese rind at hand, put that into your pan once you have added the liquid and it will add an extra cheesiness to your pasta - just remember to remove it before serving.
  • If you are using tart tinned tomatoes, you might have to add a small amount of sweetener at the end. This can just be some sugar, but I find that chutney, honey or onion jam adds more flavour.