The ‘Gate Plate: Tomato Basil One-Pot Pasta

The ‘Gate Plate


Simple and scrumptious recipes for college students.


The age-old question of how to ensure each member of the household is responsible for cleaning their dishes has provided Colgate students with the need for creative solutions to hold their living partners accountable. From dirty dish “shame” group chats, to even threatening to install video cameras, one of the most common pitfalls of cooking often occurs after the meal has been consumed.

Luckily, I have found that cooking dishes with minimal pots and pans speeds up the cleanup process, and in addition, the food turns out to be just as easy and delicious. This week’s recipe is inspired by the phenomenon of “One Pot Pasta,” with my own twist on flavors that, after several tweaks and changes, has resulted in a delicious and flavorful weeknight meal. You can easily add your favorite veggies or protein as well, which makes it an extremely customizable dish.

This pasta is also a super easy dish to make for large group dinners. Served alongside a salad and some garlic bread, you will be guaranteed to leave a great impression on your guests with minimal cleanup required. One of my favorite dinners this semester included making four one-pot-pastas for a group of my friends.


Tomato Basil One Pot Pasta


SERVES: 3-5 people

PREP TIME: 20 minutes 

COOK TIME:  20 minutes


EASY TIPS: For those with dairy intolerances, I have made this pasta with plain and unflavored oat milk before as a non-dairy substitute for the heavy cream.




  • 1 box of pasta, rigatoni or penne works well
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 red onion, sliced into wedges
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped, plus more for topping
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)



  1. Add pasta, water, onion, garlic, basil, tomatoes, zucchini, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper to a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. If you want your sauce to be thinner, add an extra half cup of water in any increments of your choosing.
  3. After 10 minutes, add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese.
  4. When the sauce has thickened, add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Top with parmesan and basil, and enjoy!