One skillet pasta? They do it in Puglia

March 4, 2015 Published by Dina

My Italian neighbour (thanks Marisa) alerted me to the trend of cooking pasta in a skillet: pasta, veggies, flavouring, oil, water, the whole thing in one skillet and you have a beautiful and flavourful pasta dish in its own sauce  in about 10 minutes. A quick internet search produced Martha Stewart as the instigator. One of Martha’s editors traveled to Puglia in Italy a couple of years ago and saw them making pasta in one pot. She took notes and came back with the idea. Martha published the recipe and used it in her cooking programs on TV and I believe that this was the beginning of the trend. I am jumping on the bandwagon a little late but hey, there is no time limit for enrolment. And you know that the less dishes to wash, the better it is.

Martha’s recipe calls for 12 oz linguine noodles and 4.5 cups water. I used penne pasta because that’s what I had on hand and needed 5 cups water. I think the exact amount of water depends on how fast you are boiling the pasta (think evaporation) but there is no problem adjusting the water at the end, adding just a little as to not interfere with the boiling state. I also adjusted the amount of tomatoes, it needed more for my taste.

I have only made this recipe once but my mind is spinning with ideas. I’ll keep you posted.

One caveat: this recipe is for dried pasta.  Fresh pasta cooks too quickly and the sauce will not be formed.


One skillet pasta

One skillet pasta


Serves 4.




12 oz dry pasta (I used penne, Martha uses linguine)

DSC_02031 basket cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 large sprigs fresh basil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

4.5 – 5 cups water

1/2 cup grated parmesan for serving



DSC_0004 (1)Use a straight sided or another deep skillet with about 12″ diameter and 2.5″ deep. Mine was not straight sided and it worked well.

Place the tomatoes, pasta, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, basil and olive oil in the skillet. Add the water, salt and pepper.

Place over high heat and bring to a boil.

Boil the pasta stirring frequently (use tongs for linguine, wooden spoon for penne) until the water has almost evaporated, the pasta is al dente and a light sauce is formed. The skillet should not be dry, some sauce should remain.

Add parmesan and adjust for salt and pepper.

Divide among 4 serving plates and serve hot, with additional grated parmesan.

Note: I had cooked broccolini and added it at the end but you could add it half way through the cooking and let it finish cooking with the pasta.



One skillet pasta

One skillet pasta

One skillet pasta

One skillet pasta




  • Laura says:

    Okay just saved this one to try this week. Looks super easy.

    • Dina says:

      That’s a Martha Stewart recipe. I made it again and added a little tomato sauce at the end, it was good too.

  • Alexis says:

    Going to make this tonight!

  • Marisa says:

    A short note from Victoria,,this is something I will be trying as soon as I get back to Kelowna,all is in bloom here and 2 months ahead of us,,nothing to report on the food front,,see you soon Marisa

    • Dina says:

      Hi Marisa, thanks for alerting me to this trend. I have many more ideas how to make this work with other ingredients. Will share later. Enjoy Vancouver Island and all the trees in bloom. It sounds beautiful.

  • Susan says:

    This sounds interesting, I am going to try it tonight. Thank you for the idea of a pasta dish in a skillet.
    This is new to me.

    • Dina says:

      Good morning Susan, thanks for checking out the blog today. This was new to me as well but I think it’s going to stay in my repertoire.