The Cookalong Podcast

Your Cooking Companion

Posted in New Methods
July 18, 2018

You Don’t Know How to Cook Pasta

I don’t mean to offend you, but I’ve been cooking pasta the long way my whole life, and I’m guessing you have been, too. What if you could decide to cook pasta, and take it off the stove, completely cooked, ten minutes later?

There’s a better way than the large pot of are-you-boiling-yet water. Craving pasta on a hot day? No problem. You won’t steam up your kitchen. Why weren’t we told this long ago? Like, from the beginning?

Here’s how to get pasta without the wait:

  1. Put your pasta in a large, deep-ish frying pan.
  2. Add enough cold water to the pan to cover the pasta. Add salt, if you usually do that.
  3. Turn the burner on to “high”, so the water will boil. Stir a few times while you wait for the boil.
  4. Shortly after it starts to boil, remove a noodle and cut it and/or bite it to test it for doneness. You can’t use a timer, because the cooking time on the package is for how long the pasta is in BOILING water. If you start timing when it starts to boil, it will be very, very overdone. NOTE: It gets done this way much faster than you will expect.

That’s it. Strain the pasta (reserve some of the water for your sauce, if you want), and sauce it up. Do it this way because:

  • No waiting for a big pot of water to boil.
  • Uses less water.
  • Makes less steam.
  • Doesn’t clump together, because the water is COLD when you start.
  • Works with any shape pasta.
  • Finished pasta in less than half the time.
  • What’s not to like?

This has changed my whole pasta experience. I think it will change yours, as well. I know it sounds crazy, but give it a try. Pasta idea to table in about 10 minutes!

NOTE: This pasta-cooking method I is ONLY for DRIED, UNFILLED pasta. Don’t try it on frozen, refrigerated, or filled pastas (like ravioli or tortellini). Cook those according to package directions.

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