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Easy One-Pot Pasta with Meat Sauce

Easy One-Pot Pasta with Meat Sauce


This is one of my favorite winter recipes—perfect for those cold nights when you want a hot meal on the table with minimal time and effort.

All you need is a good pot (or a deep frying pan with a cover) and some basic household ingredients. If you’re really short on time, you can even skip the spices, since most marinara sauces are already quite flavored.

The pasta will cook in the sauce, absorbing the flavors and thickening the sauce at the same time.

It will go from looking like this:

To this:

To this:


  • 2 small onions, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2–3 small cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 1 tsp. basil (optional)
  • 1 tsp. oregano (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar (optional)
  • 4–5 cups marinara sauce
  • 2–3 cups water
  • 1 lb. raw pasta


  1. Sauté the diced onions in the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the meat with the onions.
  3. Add the garlic, basil and oregano, and cook with the meat for a minute or two. (Note: I’ve listed the spices as optional, because most marinara sauces are already flavored, and if you’re short on time that should be enough. For a more flavorful sauce, however, I recommend using the spices.)
  4. Pour in the marinara sauce and the water, and add the raw pasta. Cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook until pasta is cooked and sauce has thickened.
  6. (Optional: If you want to add the brown sugar, do so about 10 minutes before the pasta has finished cooking. It makes a slightly sweeter sauce, which some people prefer. If you’re a more savory person, skip it.)

Note: Refrigerates well for a few days. Add a few tablespoons of water when reheating.


Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Alan Montreal Quebec October 11, 2017

Did you know it takes 8 hours to digest meat?You will not get deep restful sleep when you eat meat late at night.Suggest eat it at lunch . Reply

ANDREA RONZONI Roma December 16, 2015

Instead of the brown sugar, in Italy we put a minced carrot to take the acidity out of the tomatoes and we don't use marinara sauce but regular tomatoe puree, in with the onion we put celery cut small and the carrot, then we add the hamburger meat and when the meat is cooked slightly we add a half glass of red wine, we add the tomatoe when the wine has evaporated and then we cook the whole thing slowly around 45 minutes. The macaroni we cook it in water and then drain it of course and add it to the sauce. Reply

Casper Netherlands December 14, 2015

Hmmm Yam! looks good! Reply

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