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This pasta trick gives you more flavor and less dishwashing

One-pot angel hair pasta in tomato sauce
You can serve the pasta directly from the pan too.
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

In the matrix of easiest and most satisfying meals, pasta with tomato sauce ranks high. But sometimes — like on 100-degree days — the thought of boiling a big pot of water is overwhelming. And when there’s a need for something new and different and exciting in life, a jar of sauce feels disappointing.

Enter this one-pan pasta. It captures all the comfort of the duo with more complex layers of flavor in less time in a single skillet.

The technique comes from the Catalonia region of Spain in a dish known as both fideuà and rossejat. It’s like a noodle version of paella in which fideo, short vermicelli noodles, is roasted in oil, them simmered in stock with aromatics, vegetables, seafood or meat. As the noodles soften to al dente, they soak up all those flavors and form the socorrat, a crackling crust against the bottom of the pan.

Because the noodles are spread flat in a large skillet (use a paella pan if you have one), each bite includes the charred depth of the socorrat. Here, marinara replaces most of the stock for a saucier pasta dish with a more caramelized bottom crust. It’s tasty enough to eat just like that, but you can add seafood, meat or more vegetables to the mix too. You can cook them all in the same pan before toasting the noodles — no extra pot to wash!

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If you don’t polish off this dish in one sitting, you definitely want to save leftovers. Unlike most reheated pasta, these noodles stay al dente and become even more flavorful over time.

One-Pan Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6


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