You guys. I may have discovered the eighth wonder of the world. It’s ground breaking. It’s earth shattering. It’s one pot rigatoni.
Looking for another Italian pasta dish to make? Try my easy spaghetti carbonara, with bacon and parmesan and a creamy egg sauce. Or if pizza is more your thang, check out my traditional salami pizza recipe.
Maybe I exaggerated a teeny, tiny bit. But for reals here – you cook the pasta IN the sauce. Not in a separate pot, you just dump it directly into the sauce. One less pan to clean! But wait – it gets even better.
While the pasta is cooking, the starches from the pasta are combining with the sauce ingredients to help everything stick together. It’s genius! It not only cuts out an entire step, but it actually helps create this velvety, luscious feel to the sauce.
It’s a similar technique to a risotto – an Italian rice dish- cooked slowly while constantly adding liquid to ensure the rice absorbs as much liquid as possible. It becomes this dreamy, velvety dish that is absolutely decadent. This pasta uses that same technique to cook the rigatoni right in the sauce. It’s perfecto, if you will.
And let me tell you- my wheels are spinning coming up with other pasta dishes to use this method in. I’ve become a little obsessed!
Enough of that, let’s get this pot of yum on your table.
What you’ll need for One Pot Rigatoni:
- 1 lb italian sausage – pork, chicken, whatever you would like! I used pork sweet italian sausage in mine, and it created a nice balance of fat to balance out the acidic tomatoes.
- 1 pound of rigatoni pasta. This particular noodle holds up well to this one-pot cooking method. If you need to substitute, pick something substantial ( no angel hair here!), preferably something that will hold some of our delicious sauce in each noodle.
- 28 ounce can of peeled tomatoes. Really do your best to find tomatoes that are labeled San Marzano – they are grown in a region of Italy with nice acidic soil, due to volcanic ash residue. It makes for a particularly delicious tomato flavor that can’t be found in generic canned tomatoes.
- And to round out our sauce ingredients, onion + garlic + tomato paste + basil leaves + salt + sugar.
- You’ll also want some fresh Parmesan to grate over your one pot rigatoni.
How the One Pot Rigatoni comes together:
- You’ll start with your ground Italian sausage. I used sweet, instead of hot, since my kiddos were going to eat it too. I browned my sausage – and cooked the entire dish – in a cast iron dutch oven, like this one here. I love these things because they can go from the stove to the oven. So like, if you really wanted to add a bunch of cheese on top, and throw it in the oven for a few, I sure wouldn’t stop you. I might even give you directions to my house.
- Then, sauté the onions, and then the garlic. Things will start to smell insanely delicious right about now. I’ll bet your kitchen is starting to fill with hungry souls ready with forks, ready to taste test. You’ll add the tomato paste to the veggies, cook for a minute and then add in your hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes.
Just like my real deal pizza sauce recipe, I used a 28 ounce can of Cento tomatoes here from San Marzano. Try to use the best quality you can find, and make sure they are certified imported San Marzano tomatoes. Good tomatoes will result in a great sauce here.
- We will add the tomatoes, along with salt, sugar, and basil, simmer for a few minutes, and then stir that cooked italian sausage back in.
- Time for the magic- add your dry rigatoni + 3 cups of hot water. Stir well, and make sure the pasta is submerged the best you can.
- You’ll cook this for about 16 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir it often to avoid pasta burning in the bottom of the pot, like every minute or two. You’ll want to keep an eye on the amount of liquid remaining in the pot, anyways. Be ready to add another 1/4-1/2 cup of water if you need it! We want enough liquid in our sauce to continue to cook the rigatoni, while still resembling a cohesive sauce towards the end.
- Serve, and top with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan, and more basil if it feels right.
We did it- a fresh, vibrant tomato sauce and cooked rigatoni, all in one- yes, just one– pot. So, what are you waiting for? Whip up this One Pot Rigatoni try this dreamy dish for yourself!
One Pot Rigatoni
- 1 lb italian sausage ground
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 28 oz-can San Marzano peeled tomatoes
- 3-4 basil leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 3 cups warm water
- 1 lb rigatoni
- fresh parmesan
- In a large pot or dutch oven, brown italian sausage over medium high heat. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
- Add olive oil to pot, and once heated add diced onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add tomato paste to deglaze the pan – being sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan once moistened with the paste. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
- Crush canned tomatoes with your hands or potato masher, and add to the onion + garlic + tomato paste. Stir to combine, over medium heat. Add chopped basil, salt, and sugar. Simmer together for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked sausage and 3 cups of warm water. Stir in uncooked rigatoni, Ensuring that the pasta is submerged in the sauce. Bring to a boil.
- Cook for 16-18 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir often, every minute or so, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. If too much liquid is absorbed, add more water, 1/4-1/2 cup, until the pasta is almost cooked. At that point, let the liquid absorb and become a cohesive sauce.
- Once cooked, serve right away and top with Parmesan and extra basil.