This arrabiata pasta recipe is single-serving and made in just one pan! It’s super light and makes a perfect lunch. It only uses fresh tomatoes and chilli peppers rather than a heavier sauce too. So, not only is it good for your waistline, it’s delicious!
I’d never tried cooking my pasta and other elements all in one pan before. After all, it’s the American way and isn’t really common here in the UK. However, after taste-testing this, my mum agreed that sometimes you Americans are right about cooking. It turned out incredible!
One thing that you do have to remember with this arrabiata pasta is that when you add the tomatoes, they release water. The first time I made this, I didn’t account for this. Hence why I ended up with a little extra water once my pasta was cooked! To avoid this, just make sure that when you add your tomatoes your pasta is still a little undercooked..
If you do end up with too much excess water after the pasta is cooked, there are a couple of ways to fix it:
- remove the lid of the pan and allow it to evaporate away
- use a slotted spoon when you dish your pasta up while leaving the excess water behind in the pan
- attempt to spoon it out or pour it away while retaining your pasta and other ingredients. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this as you’re likely to lose some onion, garlic and chilli peppers
It’s also important not to salt the cooking water as if you were going to drain your pasta like usual. This is because all the salt you add will be present in the final dish. Remember, the pasta absorbs all the water! So, if you’re unsure, just add a little dash and you can always add more at the end.
The fresh tomatoes and chilli peppers added so much Summer flavour, as well as a little fresh basil, oregano and lemon zest. After all, what pasta dish is complete without those? Of course, in my usual fashion, I added olive oil and parmesan since they’re possibly my two most-used ingredients. But, I promise you that the extra fat is worth it – they really take the pasta to a whole new level!
They might not be traditional ingredients, but I promise you that the lemon zest and fresh herbs are worth that little extra effort. They make the dish so much fresher and lighter!
If you’d like to add some extra veggies, try some chopped courgette or add some spinach with the tomatoes. Red bell peppers would also be delicious! There are so many ways to jazz up this pasta – it’s so versatile!
This light arrabiata pasta is super easy to make too. Start to finish, it only takes around 20-25 minutes! I’d say that’s pretty good for such a healthy meal. After all, some healthy lunches involve roasted salads that take over half an hour! Lunch is supposed to be the smaller meal of the day, so I think that it should always be quick and easy to prepare!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 medium red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 1/4 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 75 grams (3/4 cup) fusilli
- 150 ml (1/2 cup) water
- 15 tomatoes (cherry or baby plum, halved)
- 1 sprig oregano, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp parmesan
- 2 sprigs basil, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, zest + juice
- salt and pepper, to season
- Heat a small saucepan with the olive oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the chilli peppers, onion and garlic and soften (3 mins).
- Add the fusilli and water and season lightly. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, stirring every few minutes to ensure even cooking. Pasta should be almost cooked once all the water is absorbed.
- If pasta is not almost cooked, add more water until it is. If there is excess water, uncover and allow it to evaporate. Add the tomatoes and let them cook gently to release some more water and finish cooking the pasta. Add the oregano.
- Add the parmesan, basil, lemon zest and juice and season to taste. Serve immediately.
Can be reheated in the microwave but tomatoes may become mushy.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 1 batch
Amount Per Serving Calories 495Total Fat 19.1gSaturated Fat 4.4gSodium 0.2mgCarbohydrates 65gFiber 6.4gSugar 11.7gProtein 16.1g
All nutrition information is an estimate and may vary.
If you’re looking for more single-serving pasta lunches, try this light olive oil spaghetti with tomatoes and courgette (zucchini). It won’t be a one-pan lunch unless you use exclusively spiralised courgette instead of pasta, but it’s worth the extra washing up!
If one-pan meals are more your style, try my Mexican veggie rice, which is vegan and serves 2! It’s super healthy and packed full of veggies and beans without any loss of flavour – and it’s so easy!
Good luck cooking!
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