One-Pan Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6
One-pan pasta with tomato sauce recipe by Genevieve Ko.
(Genevieve Ko/Los Angeles Times)
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When angel hair cooks in tomato sauce, it soaks up its tangy taste — and cuts down on dishwashing. The broken noodles are first toasted in oil to give them a deep richness and to keep them from sticking together or becoming mushy. That means leftovers reheat beautifully. When eaten fresh out of the pan, the flavorful crust that develops on the bottom has a satisfying crackle.

From the story: This pasta trick gives you more flavor and less dishwashing


Grab a small bundle of angel hair, hold it over a large bowl, and break into 1-inch pieces. Repeat with the remaining noodles.


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broken noodles and cook, stirring, until toasted dark golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour back into the bowl. Wipe out the skillet if any bits remain and return to medium-high heat.


Add the remaining tablespoon oil and the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden brown around the edges and almost translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until any watery liquid evaporates and the sauce thickens slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the toasted noodles and stock and stir in carefully to mix. Continue stirring until the sauce returns to a boil, then spread in an even layer. The noodles should be submerged.


Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the noodles are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. You should hear a crackling sound and the noodles on top should start to curl up. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Parmesan if you’d like.

Shrimp Pasta: Before toasting the noodles, season 12 large peeled shrimp with salt and pepper. Sear in 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate. Proceed with the recipe through step 3, then nestle the shrimp on top of the noodles at the beginning of step 4.

Vegetable Pasta: Stir 2 cups finely diced or thinly sliced vegetables, such as mushrooms, peppers, celery or carrots in with the onion and garlic.

Cheesy Pasta: After the noodles are done cooking, sprinkle the top with an even layer of shredded mozzarella. Run under the broiler until bubbling and lightly browned.
Make Ahead:
Leftovers can be reheated for up to 5 days.