Giada De Laurentiis' One-Pot Assassin's Spaghetti Puts a New Twist on a Weeknight Staple

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There’s a reason why spaghetti with marinara sauce is such a staple. It’s affordable, it’s easy to make, it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients, and pretty much everyone likes it. But because of all of these pros, spaghetti and marinara sauce does have one con: we just eat it so often that our basic recipe can get boring. So leave it to Giada De Laurentiis, author of Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita (available at Target and Amazon), to share a way to transform this classic recipe, while still keeping things simple enough for weeknights and days when we just don’t have the energy to chop a thousand vegetables after work.

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De Laurentiis recently shared her recipe for Spaghetti all’Assassina, aka Assassin’s Spaghetti, and it takes the usual spaghetti dinner ingredients and transforms them with a unique cooking technique. Unlike regular spaghetti, which you might boil and top with sauce, or boil and finish cooking for a minute or two in the sauce, this spaghetti is both toasted and cooked fully in the sauce and some water. The sauce is caramelized in the skillet. The process is different, but the flavors are still familiar and craveable.

Clarkson Potter.

To start, De Laurentiis toasts spaghetti and chili flakes in hot olive oil. Then, she adds some marinara sauce (De Laurentiis uses Bio Orto brand) right to the hot skillet full of toasted spaghetti, where it cooks down and caramelizes. She repeats this process a couple of times, then adds marinara sauce with water to the skillet. This is what helps the pasta cook through, though as with risotto, you’ll want to add the liquid gradually, stirring the spaghetti occassionally so it doesn’t stick or scorch. Oh, and you’ll probably want to wear an apron — Assassin’s Spaghetti got its name because of the red splatters it tends to leave on cooks’ shirts.

Bio Orto.

The spaghetti and sauce get cooked down until the noodles are al dente, and most of the liquid has evaporated. Then, the spaghetti and sauce will start to sizzle and caramelize in the skillet, deepening its flavor even further before you serve it in big bowls topped with lots of parm.

It takes a bit more hands-on effort than plain boiled spaghetti, but uses just a small handful of ingredients, and the flavor payoff is huge. The once-simple weeknight staple is transformed thanks to De Laurentiis, with a deep, sweet tomato flavor, nutty al dente pasta, and the salty savory tang of freshly grated cheese.

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