I recently managed to, somewhat accidentally, quadruple my collection of French cast iron skillets (Overzealous gumtree seller) and to try one out, I made a recipe which, whilst unfortunately not mine, perfectly epitomises the way I love to cook. This recipe takes two pots and less than fifteen minutes for a full pasta dish with a from-scratch tomato pasta sauce.
The recipe from Kenji over at Serious Eats makes use of the extra ripeness of cherry tomatoes and their high pectin content, in order to whip up a wicked fast and delicious sauce. I think this sauce is perfect because it's not particularly involved, practically foolproof, and from turning on the kettle to serving up in no more time than it takes to cook the dry pasta.
Since this is such a quick recipe, I usually make it as a single serve for lunch, my variation of the recipe is as follows, and can easily be scaled up.
Easy Pasta Sauce
A box of cherry tomatoes
One clove of garlic, thinly sliced
One cup of any short cut pasta
Rosemary, cut fine
Parmesan, Pepper and more Rosemary for garnish
One skillet and one medium sized Pot,
Add salt and bring pot of water to the boil
Fry garlic in vegetable oil in the skillet over medium heat (medium-low with cast iron)
Add pasta to the pot
Once the garlic has begun to soften, add the tomatoes and stir to keep the garlic from burning
Press down on the tomatoes as they cook
Once the pasta is done (or very nearly done) tip a splash of water from the pot into the skillet
Strain the pasta and add to the skillet
Cook for one more minute
If the sauce comes out too thin, raise the heat and cook for a little longer until it thickens. Conversely, if you find the pasta didn't cook as much as you hoped in the pan, you can add more water from the tap (or if you reserved some, the pasta water is ideal) and cook a little longer in the pan. This recipe really benefits from the starchy pasta water which helps bind the sauce to the pasta.
Some great additions to this recipe without adding any more cook time include feta or goat's cheese, microwaved prosciutto, and the caramelised onions from the baguette recipe.