Random header image... Refresh for more!

cooking in a postage stamp-sized kitchen

We return later today from a glorious long weekend, spent with Marissa and her boyfriend, Jeff, in San Francisco and Napa.

San Francisco from the ferry

Marissa had a very busy and stressful work week, so I made dinner on Friday night in her very small kitchen. When I say small, I mean really small!

In May, Marissa moved from the Outer Sunset neighborhood to Pacific Heights. Part of the tradeoff to living closer to the center of the city was less space.

postage stamp kitchen

The closet-sized kitchen is only 7 feet wide by 10 feet long, with less than 25 square feet of walkable floor space and only 3 linear feet of counter space. No dishwasher, no garbage disposal, and a smaller than an average-sized refrigerator.


Speaking of the refrigerator… remember this Friday Funny I posted last week?

small fridge

It is Marissa’s reality! Here is her refrigerator…


… and here is how mine typically looks. Just a bit of a contrast!

filled to the rim with goceries

So, what did I make for dinner in the tiny kitchen, you ask?

After a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, I unpacked it all, which took up every inch of counter space, then I proceeded to make a one-pot (no drain) pasta dinner, rounded out with a salad and garlic bread. The salad recipe will be posted tomorrow.

foil to cover holes in cover

The one-pot Marissa owned, that was big enough, had a lid with holes, for draining pasta. I needed a solid lid so I covered the pot with foil, then added the lid, for a tight seal.

one pot pasta dinner

One-Pot/No Drain Tomato-Basil Pasta

16-ounces dry linguine pasta, snap pasta in half
32-ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 large onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 large fresh sprigs basil, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

one pot - no drain pasta

Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil in a large stockpot.

one pot - no drain pasta dinner

Pour in the broth. Sprinkle the pepper flakes and oregano on top. Drizzle top with oil. Stir well to combine.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover the pot. Keep covered and cook for 10 minutes.

simmering to the finish

Remove lid and continue to cook until almost all liquid has been absorbed about 3 to 4 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

dinner with favorite people

Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 to 6

A few bonus photos of the evening:

waiting for guests

All done with the prep work. Sitting on the couch, relaxing with a glass of wine, as I wait for Dave to return from a Costco run and Marissa and Jeff to arrive from a hard day at work.

table in bay window

The table in the lovely bay window is set …

October centerpiece

and the flowers are arranged.

full service

And, yes, I did the dishes too. All in all, it was a great night with three of my favorite people on Earth! xoxo

Print pagePDF pageEmail page
Related Posts with Thumbnails


1 Sika { 10.07.13 at 8:12 AM }

Wow, this post is so amazing. I love the photos, mostly the comparisons of the refrigerators. Mine is small too, let’s say middle-sized. But the photos are so accurate. And your recipe idea is absolutely great. I will try to cook it in my small kitchen. Thank you!

2 Marissa { 10.07.13 at 9:21 AM }

You make my little apartment look good!

3 Betsy { 10.07.13 at 9:29 AM }

what a great night !!

4 Linda Hopkins { 10.07.13 at 4:38 PM }

Hi Sika, thank you for the comment. And please do let me know if you make the pasta and how it turns out for you. Best wishes.

5 Sydney { 10.08.13 at 6:13 AM }

My daughter and her husband had a similar place in the Marina district. They now live in Pac Heights on Calif. and Lyon. It would be fun to introduce them sometime.. They may be neighbors!

6 Linda Hopkins { 10.08.13 at 7:32 AM }

Sydney, Marissa is near the corner of Washington and Divisadero – and yes, we should introduce them! xoxo

7 Jeff { 08.23.14 at 11:24 AM }

Marissa had to work late the other day, but this time there was NOT this yummy pasta

Leave a Comment