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Par-boiling pasta


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I have tried a little search but without much success.

Does anyone here have any experience with par-boiling pasta in large quantities to be able to serve portions quickly à la minute?

I don't know where to begin with this technique but would like to find out more. How long is the initial cooking? How do you store the pasta in the par-cooked state? What is the best way to approach the final cooking? and so on.

Any experiences appreciated.




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Of course, the par-cooking time depends on what type of pasta it is that you're par-cooking. Penne, orecchiette, farfalle all take to longer cooking than vermicelli or spahettini. Then, the pasta needs to be shocked or at least rinsed under cold water till cold. Tossed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil will keep it from sticking together.

By testing you should be able to get it to a point where the final boil only takes a minute or so but be sure you still leave the pasta al dente.

Never going to be as good as pasta cooked à la minute, but can work okay in a catering situation. And never works with fresh pasta.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I've pre-cooked pasta (both long and shaped) for large scale single-seating gigs. Best advice I ever received on this front, was to cook no more than 2 or 3 batches in the same water. Heed these words, lest you end up with a gloppy mess of starch!

Cook pasta about 3/4 done, shock in ice water. Drain, then, I tossed w/ oil and chilled in the fridge, up to 2 days.

To heat: use lots of boiling water. Remove chilled pasta from fridge about 30 min before you want to cook. Heat in small-ish batches, up to 20 servings per batch; this will take about 8-10 min. I tossed w/ sauce to hold until serving time.

The pre-cook & shock method is also useful for large amounts of mac & cheese sorts of dishes, which will be heated in the oven later. The whole batch will cool for storage much more quickly if the pasta is already cold before the sauce is stirred in.

Karen Dar Woon

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