Recipes / One-Pot Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggs

One-Pot Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggs

By The Editors

Published April 18, 2024

A sort of magic happens when you cook pasta and sauce together at the same time in a big pot, season it robustly, and toss in modest portions of economical proteins. The sauce forms right before your eyes, coating the noodles perfectly. It’s almost as fast as packaged mac-and-cheese, and we’d like to think way better in every way, except perhaps the nostalgia factor.

Photo: Kerri Conan
Photo: Kerri Conan
The following may contain affiliate links for which we earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting us in this way!

Whole wheat pasta adds more fiber and nutrients than noodles made from durum wheat, and we like the way it tastes. Though of course we eat traditional pasta sometimes, too. This recipe makes a lot of food, but you’ll probably still want some simply cooked vegetables on the side, or maybe a salad. 

Cost: $20 (not including salad or side vegetable and using previously purchased soy sauce; but with extra ingredients for the fridge and pantry)

Leftovers: Add the sauced pasta to beaten eggs and scramble or bake into a frittata. Or reheat in a hot skillet, stirring occasionally, until the noodles sizzle and crisp in places.


Make The Recipe!

One-Pot Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggs

Prevent your screen from going dark

Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings 1x

Time 30 minutes

Units Scale


  • 4 scallions
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or neutral-tasting vegetable oil (like grapeseed or canola)
  • 1 large can (28-ounces) whole tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti (or any pasta shape)
  • Pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • Soy sauce for serving


  1. Trim and rinse the scallions. Cut the green and white parts and chop them separately; set aside the green tops for garnish. Get at least 2 cups water ready by the stove.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it is hot, add the sliced white part of the scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, just a minute or so. Stir in about 1 cup of water. Carefully take a tomato from the can, crush it with your hands and remove the tough core, and drop it into the pot. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes; then pour in the juice. (Or you can cut the tomatoes in the can with scissors or pour the whole can in at once and break them up with a potato masher in the pot.) Sprinkle the sauce with salt.
  3. Raise the heat to medium high. When the sauce comes to a boil, stir in the pasta, either whole or broken in half. Keep stirring and tossing until the noodles bend and soften, about 3 minutes. Then stir occasionally to keep them from sticking together. After a few more minutes, when the tomatoes break down and the pot gets dry, start adding water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. When the liquid is just about absorbed, add more. Keep the heat at medium, stir frequently, and repeat adding water as necessary; you’ll need almost all of the 2 cups you measured earlier.
  4. Begin tasting the pasta 10 minutes after you added it; the strands should be tender but have some firmness when you bite. (It could take as long as 15 minutes to reach this stage.) When the pasta is ready, stir in the remaining butter or oil and enough additional water to make the noodles glossy and thickly coated. Taste and add more salt and some pepper, spread the pasta into the bottom of the pot, and crack in the eggs.
  5. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and let it sit until the yolks are as runny or solid as you like, 4 to 8 minutes. You can serve the eggs whole, or stir them into the noodles (or do a combination as shown in the photo). To serve, scoop out the noodles with a large spoon and tongs and garnish with the reserved scallion tops. Pass the soy sauce at the table.

— Recipe developed by The Bittman Project for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project 

Recipe variations

One-Pot Pasta with Tomatoes and Tinned Fish
Substitute a small chopped onion for the scallions; you probably won’t need some or all of the butter or oil. Replace the eggs with 8 to 12 ounces canned or jarred fish packed in olive oil. If you like tuna, look for sustainably caught yellowfin, albacore (white), or skipjack (chunk light). Salmon, sardines, or mackerel are also good choices. In Step 1, start by opening the cans or jars and measuring the olive oil into the pot for cooking the onion. Then follow the recipe until Step 4 where you will add the tuna (or other fish) to the pot, along with a sprinkling of dried Italian seasoning blend and the remaining oil in the tin and more butter or olive oil if you need it. Instead of the soy sauce, pass red chile flakes at the table.

One-Pot Pasta with Tomatoes and Cheese
Substitute olive oil for the vegetable oil (or use butter). Instead of the eggs, crumble 8 ounces of a flavorful cheese, like feta or queso fresco, which have better quality and flavor than inexpensive Parmesan cheese. Add the cheese to the pot at the end of Step 4 along with a pinch of smoked paprika or chili powder.

One-Pot Pasta with Tomatoes and Leftovers
This recipe is a great place to use leftover bits of simply cooked roasted, grilled, or steamed meats; seafood; tofu; or vegetables. Just chop, slice, or shred whatever you have in the fridge—up to 2 cups. Add the leftovers to the pasta when you start tasting for doneness at the 10 minute mark in Step 4. You may need to add more butter or some olive oil. Skip the eggs but still cover the pot and let it sit at the end of that step so the extra bits heat through and the pasta is steaming hot when you serve it.