Tomato Basil Pasta

When you spend more than 100 nights per year in the camper, making traditional camp food becomes less and less appealing. I love the occasional hot dog and sometimes break out the dutch oven. But I have come to value meals that:

  • Use minimal ingredients
  • Use ingredients that are mostly shelf-stable
  • Dirty few dishes
  • Take little time
  • Can be adjusted for one or two servings
  • Are relatively healthy
  • Are delicious!

I am going to try to start sharing some of the recipes that meet most of those qualifications and have become regulars in my rotation. At the top of the list is this tomato basil pasta.

It is probably an exaggeration to call this a recipe. It is more of a collection of ingredients. I have never measured with anything other than my heart, as the kids like to say. Sometimes I get a batch that is extra spicy or garlicky, but it has always been tasty!


  • Olive oil
  • Garlic – jarred, minced fresh, or paste are all fine
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh tomatoes – usually a pint of grape or cherry
  • White wine – I like to buy the cans and use a bit for pasta while drinking the rest
  • Parmesan cheese – freshly grated is best, shaved cheese from the deli is fine, the green can may work in a pinch
  • Fresh basil
  • Pasta – I like bowties or spaghetti


  1. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add about a tablespoon of garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes and about a half cup of wine. Small cherry or grape tomatoes can be added whole. Larger tomatoes should be cut.
  4. Cook pasta according to directions. Save a cup of pasta water if draining, but if you time the pasta correctly you can scoop the cooked pasta directly into the sauce without draining it.
  5. Simmer the tomatoes over medium-low heat, occasionally mashing some of the tomatoes. If the pan gets too dry, add a splash more of wine. If you already drank all the wine, use the pasta water instead.
  6. Once pasta is cooked and tomatoes are juicy, add the pasta to the sauce. If the pasta is too dry, add a splash of pasta water.
  7. Stir in a handful of shredded parmesan.
  8. Top with lots of fresh chopped basil.

I think this would also be great with other veggies. Zucchini could be added with the tomatoes and spinach would be good to add with parmesan. Meat lovers could add cooked chicken or sausage. I like to serve with bread to sop up all the sauce and a fresh green salad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s