One-Pan Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes & Cauliflower (Vegan)


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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OK – so, Martha Stewart has, it seems, caused quite a stir with her one-pan pasta recipe.  One pan?  One STEP?  Sorta.  Once you prep the ingredients (meaning – cut the vegetables) this is easier than making Kraft mac & cheese.  I added cheese & the awesome Red Boat fish sauce – but omit these for a vegan variety.


I keep mentioning this Red Boat stuff because it is a very fancy fish sauce.  Here is what Red Boat says about itself:

In Vietnamese, nước mắm means literally “salted fish water.” Red Boat “nước mắm nhi” is the secret ingredient in South East Asian cooking. The savory, sweet, and umami-laden sauce gives dishes a unique, rich and satisfying dimension.

Red Boat is an all-natural, first press, “extra virgin” Vietnamese fish sauce. It does not contain added water, preservatives or MSG. Made from a two hundred year-old, chemical free, artisanal process, Red Boat uses only the freshest cá com (black anchovy), salted minutes after leaving the sea then slow aged for over a year in traditional wooden barrels. Red Boat anchovies are sourced exclusively from the crystal clear waters off the Phu Quoc Island archipelago.

In the past, this top grade fish sauce was reserved for our family table in Vietnam but we are very excited to share our family secret with you. With pride we bring you the only authentic Vietnamese Phu Quoc fish sauce available in the United States.

Whether you are a master chef or enthusiastic home cook, we guarantee you the highest quality product and the best results.

Anyway – it smells just as gross as any other fish sauce – maybe even grosser – but it adds a subtle, salty flavor (like minced anchovies would) and not some disgusting fishy thing.  Ever seen Clamato?  I used to joke about that stuff.  I’d say, “You know what’s wrong with this Bloody Mary?  It doesn’t taste fishy enough!”  Then I tried a Bloody Caesar and I stopped cracking wise.  Well, Red Boat adds a delightful depth to dishes that need a little added oomph – so I recommend strongly that you try it.  Eh – but if you can’t find it or if you are vegan – blow that shit off.  See how easy I am?

So, anyway, Martha dropped this one-pan-pasta bomb on the world & I just had to try it.  For some reason, every recipe I saw used 12 oz of dry pasta.  Who the fuck cooks 3/4 of a box of pasta?  And one recipe made the LUDICROUS assertion that a recipe using 12 ounces of dry pasta was enough to feed six.  SIX!  This person must also believe that a box of Kraft feeds four or that there are 25 servings in a standard tub of Cool Whip.  Seriously.  TWO ounces of pasta per person?  In my world, a pound of pasta MIGHT feed four.  Might.  But I digress.

Because all the recipes used that bizarre 12 ounce suggestion – I had to wing this a bit.  I had 8 ounces – and it was 8 ounces of whole wheat angel hair.  I do not recommend using angel hair.  It cooks in 5-7 minutes and, I fear, is a tad on the fragile side for this kind of preparation.  Go with a spaghetti or linguine if you try this.  And try this you should because it really did work & it was damned tasty.

I used cauliflower because I had it.  You could sub that out for anything really.  Try shrimp or a puttanesca or whatever you have around that you feel would work on pasta.


One-Pan Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes & Cauliflower (Vegan)

Serves 2 hungry people


8 ounces dry pasta (spaghetti or linguine or penne)

1/2 large onion – sliced thin

4 garlic cloves – sliced thin

3 tomatoes – diced

3-4 sprigs basil – chopped

1/2 small head cauliflower – cut into small florets

1 TBS olive oil

2 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBS oregano

2 tsp fish sauce (omit if you are vegan)

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp each of S&P

GARNISH – with chopped basil, crushed red pepper & (vegan) Parmesan



Put everything in a pot large enough to lay the pasta flat.  Bring to a boil and, stirring frequently, cook as long as the pasta directions suggest.  This should result in a pan of cooked pasta in a creamy sauce (as the starch from the pasta blends with the stock).  If it seems too wet, cook it down a bit more or add Parmesan to make that moisture into an even creamier sauce.

Garnish as you will & be amazed at how well this experiment worked!



2 thoughts on “One-Pan Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes & Cauliflower (Vegan)

  1. Pingback: Easy One-Pot Vegan Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles (Gluten-Free) | Delightful-Delicious-Delovely

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