HOW TO COOK PASTA IN SAUCE? (3 easy recipes)

In this guide, we will look into ways to cook your pasta in the sauce. Also, 3 easy recipes are given so you can enjoy them at home.

How to cook pasta in sauce?

Well yes. It’s quite simple and easy to make with less hustle. Let’s have a look over the benefits of cooking your pasta in the sauce.

What are the health benefits of cooking pasta in sauce?

Pasta is something that can be easily messed up if not properly cooked. It needs to be al dente, holding its shape and its integrity while being beautifully covered with the sauce. So what are the benefits of making pasta in its sauce? Let’s see them.

  • You are not wasting that starchy pasta water. Some chefs refer to this water as gold, as it naturally thickens to the sauce and gives some body to pasta.
  • Fewer dishes to wash. Well, who doesn’t want that right?
  • It lessens the workload altogether.

The nutritional changes of the tomato sauce is discussed below:

Cooking pasta in the tomato sauce requires a longer heating time of the tomato sauce. Long heating of vegetables causes the thermal degradation of vitamin C present in them. Loss of vitamin C occurs primarily by chemical degradation that involves oxidation of ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid, followed by hydrolysis to 2,3-diketogulonic acid and further polymerization to form other nutritionally inactive products. Because heat is known to speed the oxidation process of ascorbic acid, thermal processing results in loss of vitamin C content in fruits and vegetables (1). 

Still, thermal processing may increase antioxidants due to release of more bound phenolic acids from the breakdown of cellular constituents. Although disruption of cell walls also releases the oxidative and hydrolytic enzymes that can destroy the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, thermal processing at 88 °C (190 °F) deactivates these enzymes to avoid the loss of phenolic acids (1). 

A study showed that thermal processing significantly increased the content of bioaccessible lycopene in tomatoes. The increase in bioaccessible lycopene content is primarily due to the increased release of phytochemicals from the matrix to make it more accessible in the extraction. In humans, lycopene bioavailability was greater from heat-processed tomatoes compared to fresh tomatoes. This suggests that heat-processed tomatoes had higher bioaccessible lycopene because of the elevated release of lycopene from the cell matrix (1).

3 easy recipes

The following recipes target 3 types of pasta lovers. Those who enjoy a red sauce based pasta, those who enjoy a white base pasta and those who love classic mac n cheese.

Red sauce

All you need are the following ingredients. It takes up to 30 minutes and yields 5 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14ounce) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • Basil
  • 1½ cups Water or vegetable stock
  • 8oz (225g) Pasta of your choice
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • In a deep pan, heat olive oil on a medium flame.
  • Add chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes till translucent.
  • Add in minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in tomato paste and cook for a few minutes to slightly caramelize it.
  • Follow up by adding tomato sauce, salt, pepper, oregano and water or stock.
  • Stir and bring it to boil.
  • Add in your pasta.
  • After a few minutes, cover, and reduce the flame to medium-low heat and cook.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • After the pasta is al dente depending on the used pasta type, cut off the flame.
  • Serve and enjoy with grated parmesan cheese on top.

White sauce

A personal favorite and a go-to recipe that I personally follow. Takes up to 15-20 minutes and yields about 3-4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup water
  • 1 cup pasta
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 and a 1/2 tbsp chicken powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cheese slices
  • ½ cup of chopped sausage or chicken chunks

Directions

  • Heat water in a pan.
  • Add in your pasta. I prefer spaghetti for this.
  • When half the water is evaporated add in milk.
  • Cover and cook for a while.
  • Add in your seasonings and let the liquid evaporate.
  • When 20% of liquid remains add in your chunks or sausages along with some cheese slices.
  • When desired sauce consistency is achieved, put the flame off.
  • Serve hot.

Oven-baked mac and cheese

Mac and cheese – holidays must have a tik-tok sensation these days. Food for your soul. What’s more, to say about it, everyone loves it and enjoys it and is easy to make too. This recipe takes about 55 minutes and serves 6 people.

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of pasta, preferably elbow.
  • 1 and ½ cups of half and half
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp of Black pepper
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 block of sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup milk

Direction

  • Preheat oven at 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F
  • Place the block of cheddar in the center of a 9-inch baking dish.
  • Pour pasta around the cheese.
  • Pour in your half and half on top of pasta.
  • Add in all your seasonings.
  • Stir until the seasonings and half and a half well coat the pasta.
  • Add in your shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, covered with a foil paper on top.
  • Take the dish out, give it a good mix and add in milk.
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes till the cheese melts and gets golden.
  • Take it out and rest for 5 minutes.
  • Stir and serve.

Other FAQs about Pasta that you may be interested in.

Can you eat 4 day old pasta?

Can you bake fresh pasta without boiling first?

Can you eat cold pasta?

Conclusion

In this guide, we have looked into ways to cook your pasta in the sauce. Also, 3 easy recipes are given so you can enjoy them at home.

Hope you found this guide helpful. Any questions or feedback is welcome.

Citations

  1. Dewanto, Veronica, et al. Thermal processing enhances the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing total antioxidant activity. J agri food chem, 2002, 50, 3010-3014.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.