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Summer Macaroni (Not just for Summer)

I remember the exact moment I discovered one-pot pasta, as part of a genius smart cooking story in Martha Stewart Living that promised perfect pasta with a sauce all in one. I sat with that image for years-a dangling carrot of ease on a long list of recipes a cookbook writer never gets around to trying her own. Meanwhile, a hundred such recipes were published, so this is affirmation, rather than a novel discovery: One-pot pasta is real, and it's a wonder. I finally made one when friends came for afternoon grazing and stayed, unexpectedly, for dinner. While we chatted over cheese and olives, I dashed about the kitchen throwing noodles, a sliced onion, zucchini, and a glug of olive oil into a pot. Twenty minutes and a few stirs later (that's the catch: stir, or the pasta will stick), we had a gorgeous meal.

Photo Credit: Gentl + Hyers

Summer Macaroni (Not just for Summer)

Main ingredient


Cook time

25 minutes

Serving size

4 to 6


  • 12 oz (340 g) Chunky Short Pasta, Such as Conchiglie, or Large Shells
  • 1 Sweet Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Bunch Fresh lemon Basil or Regular Basil
  • 2 to 4 Cups (150 to 300 g) Chopped Vegetables, Such as Zucchini, Kale, Tomatoes, Broccoli Rabe, Asparagus, Artichokes, and Mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, or Fresh Ricotta Cheese
  • Thinly Sliced Radish (Optional)

Quick Tip

These ingredients are loose, and flex easily to the seasons. Many people include garlic in their one-pot-pasta. I prefer the flavor of garlic in oil rather than water, but add a few thin slices if you're a garlic lover. Other people include tomato, fresh or canned.

Recipe Preparation

  1. Combine the pasta, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, basil, and the chopped vegetables in a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add about 4 1/2 cups (1 L) water (enough to just cover the pasta) and the oil. Cover and bring to a roaring boil. Stir, Return the lid, and lower the heat to a simmer. Keep the pot covered and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and evaporated.
  2. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle generously with cheese and toss to coat. Serve warm, garnished with radish (if using).
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