Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti

A Modern Way To Cook recipe

August 19, 2018

This pasta is a complete revelation. The sauce is magically made from the pasta water and tomatoes as the pasta cooks—all in one pan. No fuss, one pan, and a killer bowl of pasta.

Pasta and gluten sometimes get bad press. I think there is a time and place for a good bowl of pasta. Saying that, I opt for interesting pastas as often as I do the traditional kind.Try corn, chickpea, or buckwheat spaghetti—they are gluten-free, and all have incredible individual flavors and make a welcome change if pasta is a staple in your house.

The key to this recipe is to measure your water carefully and to use the right pan: you need a large, shallow sauté pan or casserole large enough to fit the pasta lying down. A large, deep frying pan or wok would work well too.

Reprinted with permission from A Modern Way to Cook: 150+ Vegetarian Recipes for Quick, Flavor-Packed Meals by Anna Jones, copyright © 2016. Photography by Matt Russell. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

Magic One Pot Spaghetti with Kale, Tomato, and Lemon

  • Serves: 4
  • Total Time:20 minutes
  • Active Time:10 minutes
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  • 1 16-ounce box spaghetti or linguine
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • Scant 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping teaspoons flaky sea salt (if you are using fine-grain table salt, add a bit less)
  • 1 bunch of kale or spinach, tough stalks removed and leaves coarsely torn
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)


  1. Fill and boil a kettle of water. Place a large, shallow pan on the stovetop.
  2. Put the pasta and halved tomatoes in the pan, along with the lemon zest, olive oil, and salt. Add about 1 quart of boiling water, put a lid on the pan, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Remove the lid and simmer on high heat for 6 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pasta every 30 seconds or so as it cooks.
  4. Add the kale to the pasta and tomatoes, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Once almost all the water has evaporated, take the pan off the heat and, using tongs, tangle the pasta into four bowls. Top with a little Parmesan.