COMBINE water with linguine, diced tomatoes, onion, 1/2 cup basil, garlic, butter, tomato paste, chili flakes and salt in a very large frying pan. Boil over medium-high, stirring often until pasta has absorbed most of the liquid, 9 to 10 min.
TRANSFER pasta to a platter. Sprinkle with parmesan and remaining basil. Serve immediately.