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.
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.
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One-Pot Pasta with Quick Tomato Sauce
- In Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add 1 chopped onion and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Carefully stir in 3¾ cups penne pasta and 3 cups water. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 16 to 18 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Drizzle pasta with extra olive oil and sprinkle ¼ cup chopped fresh basil over top. Use ladle to divide pasta and sauce among individual bowls. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
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