Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for one-pot tomato, lemongrass and coconut soba noodles

In June 2013, a bold step forward in the cooking of pasta occurred when Martha Stewart made a one-pot spaghetti by putting all the ingredients for the sauce, pasta and cooking water in the same pan. What emerged nine minutes later was a perfectly cooked meal. As a food writer, such dishes – where technique, time and flavour come together in perfect harmony – are the holy grail of all recipes. In homage to Stewart’s original, here is my very own one-pot noodle recipe.

One-pot tomato, lemongrass and coconut soba noodles
Check the ingredients list on your soba noodles – they’re traditionally made with buckwheat, but many brands combine that with wheat flour, too, so are not gluten-free. I use a NutriBullet to make the paste, but you could use a hand blender; you could also double the quantity, blend and freeze half for another time.

Prep 10 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 2-4 as a main course

3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 fat garlic cloves, peeled roughly chopped
3 lemongrass stalks, cut off and roughly chop the bottom 6cm only (lemongrass freezes really well, so save the rest for the bases of soups and stocks)
20g (or two handfuls) fresh coriander stalks and leaves
2 Thai red chillies, roughly chopped
4 tbsp neutral oil, such as rapeseed
400g baby plum tomatoes, halved
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
1¼ tsp fine sea salt
200g buckwheat soba noodles – I like Clearspring’s 100% buckwheat organic ones
15g (or 1 large handful) Thai basil leaves

Put the first six ingredients in a blender and blitz to a paste. Set a wide pan for which you have a lid on a medium heat and, once hot, add the paste and cook, stirring, for three to four minutes, until it releases its oils into the pan.

Stir in the tomatoes, pop on the lid and cook, stirring only occasionally so as not to break up the tomatoes, for five to six minutes, until they collpase and go soft and a little jammy.

Pour in the coconut milk, then fill up the empty tin one and a half times with water (600ml) and add that to the pan, too. Gently stir in the salt, then bring the mixture to a boil. Drop in the noodles, so they’re submerged, and leave to bubble away for about five minutes, until tender. Stir through the Thai basil and serve at once.