ATK Kids

For Faster, More Flavorful Pasta, Cook the Noodles Right in the Sauce

It also means tender noodles, sauce with the perfect consistency, and easy cleanup.

Published Dec. 30, 2021.

Pasta is a staple of quick and easy weeknight dinners.

But what if I told you there’s a way to make the process even faster and simpler? By skipping the separate boiling of the pasta and instead adding the dried noodles straight to the sauce, you can make a weeknight-friendly meal in just one pot. Bonus: It makes the pasta more flavorful, too.

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

The cooking liquid in this recipe is made up of crushed tomatoes and water. The tomatoes are there for flavor, while the water is necessary for achieving the proper texture and consistency. The pasta will absorb the extra water while cooking to become al dente—at the same time, the sauce will thicken. The end result is a cozy pasta dish all ready to eat in less than an hour.

You can find this recipe—and over a dozen more kid-friendly dinners—in The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs, the New York Times best seller that gives kids a comprehensive starting point for a lifetime of success in the kitchen. Now you can feel confident handing off dinner duty to the kids every now and then.


One-Pot Pasta with Quick Tomato Sauce

Cooking the pasta and the sauce in the same pot means more flavor and fewer dishes—a win/win for the whole family!
Get the Recipe

This is a members' feature.