My youngest son would eat spaghetti with sauce every night if I served it. I recently found this video from the Chow series “You’re Doing it All Wrong” about saucing pasta, and I thought I’d test the method out with my son to see if saucing pasta using their “right” method made much of a difference.

I presented my son with two plates of angel hair pasta with sauce, pictured below. The plate on the left was created using Chow’s “right” method, minus the cheese because my son doesn’t like it. The plate on the right was created by draining the pasta in a colander and dumping the sauce on top.

two plates of pasta with sauce

The results? The extra couple of steps to finish the pasta off in the sauce with a little pasta water, olive oil and butter definitely made for a tastier dish of pasta. Each bite was evenly flavored, and the finished dish had a richness to it that the other lacked. Of course, it was higher in fat because of the oil and butter. It also was, like the video suggested it would be, silkier.

My son told me that although the dish on the left was better, it didn’t matter to him which way it was made. He loves it enough to eat it either way. I thought the improvement made by finishing the pasta in the sauce was significant enough that I have a new way of making spaghetti. I will definitely take the extra minute or two to put the pasta in the sauce, and then add the water, oil and butter. Then I’ll have to dump part of that into one bowl for my son before I add the cheese to what's left on the stove because the rest of the family likes the cheese.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Are you saucing pasta the right way?
Do you dump the sauce on the pasta or put the pasta in the sauce? There is a difference.