Sometimes the leisurely aspirations of summer can backfire, and a well-intended weekend turns more towards comedy of error than #summergoals. I had a grand vision for this pasta. It was destined to be the star meal of a weekend camping. But the campground we visited was full, so we drove over a pothole-heavy dirt road to the other side of the lake, where the “primitive” sites were. The sites were little more than dusty clearings in a dry pine forest along a sad-looking reservoir strewn with the tree stumps of its pre-reservoir glory. There was no instagram-ready picnic table, and a fire ban was (understandably) in full effect because it’s been such a hot, dry summer. Hashtag sad face.
In the evening we watched the skies, hoping for some clearing of smoke to witness the Pleiades meteor shower. Sleep didn’t come easy with a restless, overstimulated dog in the tent who wouldn’t settle down. But I did fall asleep because at some point in the night, I was awakened by the low rumblings of an unexpected thunderstorm, volleying across the sky over the lake. It’s one of my favorite sounds, so I did my best to enjoy it and just listen. And then the dog awoke at 5:30, circling the tent and bounding around, sounding like a horse galloping across the dusty campground. So much for sleep. So much for my epic one-pot pasta. I was grumpy, and exhausted, and we decided to head home early.
And while I subscribe to the philosophy that everything tastes better when you’re outside, this pasta will work its magic on you no matter where you cooke it. It’s just genius. And perhaps it is so genius because on top of its simplicity, it delivers on flavor. The tomatoes begin to dissolve with the starches of the pasta into saucy softness; the herbs keep it fresh and bright and summery, the cheese completes it. I even forgot the onion that is found in the original version of this recipe, and substituted a huge handful of green onions and chives, and still found deep, soul-level satisfaction in this perfect late summer comfort food. Dig in.
One-Pot Pasta for Late Summer
I was thrilled to receive this gorgeous cooking vessel to experiment with from the iconic Le Creuset. I love the (slightly) smaller size in comparison to the larger, bulkier Dutch oven that I generally cook with, and if I weren’t concerned about tarnishing the beautiful exterior of the pot, I’d take it with me on all of my car-camping adventures. Being a lover of color, I’m pretty certain that this gorgeous deep teal hue makes the food taste better (in addition to making the colors of summer produce pop.)
adapted from Bon Appetempt, originally from Martha Stewart Living
12 ounces gluten-free or regular spaghetti
12-16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small or 1 large summer squash, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Handful chopped, fresh chives + green onions (or 1 small onion, diced)
Handful basil leaves, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 cups water
Feta or Parmesan cheese for serving
Combine the pasta, tomatoes, garlic, half of the chives and green onions, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly been absorbed, about 9-12 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil and cheese.
This post is sponsored by Le Creuset and Williams-Sonoma. All thoughts and writing are my own. Partnerships like these sustain me as a small business!