Cooking the pasta and the sauce in the same pot means more flavor and fewer dishes—it’s a win/win!
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In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Stir in tomatoes and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Carefully stir in pasta and water. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 16 to 18 minutes.
Rather than boiling the pasta in a pot of water, draining it, and then combining the cooked pasta with the sauce, you can actually cook dried pasta right in the sauce (which means no extra pot or colander to wash!). To help the pasta cook evenly, it’s important to add a measured amount of water to the pot with the sauce. By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce will be the perfect consistency and the pasta will have absorbed some of the sauce, so it will taste better. Talk about win/win.
Follow these three steps whenever you need to chop onions.