Cooking pasta in the microwave doesn’t save a lot of time but it uses less energy and is a convenient way of making this fresh-tasting, one-pot pasta dish.
This recipe is part of a budget microwave meal plan for one. In March 2023, it was costed at an average total of £1.01 when checking prices at four UK supermarkets. It is designed to be made in conjunction with a low-cost store-cupboard.
Pour the water into a large microwaveable bowl, stir in the stock cube until dissolved and then stir in the pasta and oil. The bowl needs to be large enough for the water to boil and rise in the bowl – so ideally at least 2 litres/3½ pints (see Tip below). Cover the bowl with a microwaveable lid or dinner plate and stand on a second plate to catch any drips. Cook on HIGH for 11 minutes (1000W) or 12 minutes (800W), stirring halfway, or until the pasta is tender but retains just a little ‘bite’. (There should be a few tablespoons of liquid left in the bowl at the end of the cooking time, but there is no need to drain them.)
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic and chilli flakes. Season with lots of black pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH for a further 2 minutes 30 seconds (1000W) or 3 minutes (800W), or until the tomatoes are soft but still holding their shape.
Tip into a shallow bowl and drizzle with the cream. Season with more black pepper and sprinkle with the fresh herbs, if using, before serving.