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Two Minute Pasta?


palo
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i don't think it's a stupid idea. like any technique, it's a tool and has its place; that doesn't mean it should be used in every situation. there's any number of reasons why it might be interesting to try even outside of doing commercial foodservice prep. traditionally cooked pasta wastes a huge amount of water and dumps a ton of heat into the kitchen. i've done the presoak for summer pasta dishes before when i didn't want to put a lot of heat in the kitchen and make the a/c work overtime.

 

tangentially related i've lately been cooking pasta in just enough water that i don't need to drain it (i err on the side of too little and add more as it cooks if necessary) and i really like the result.

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2 hours ago, jimb0 said:

tangentially related i've lately been cooking pasta in just enough water that i don't need to drain it (i err on the side of too little and add more as it cooks if necessary) and i really like the result.

I'm interested in knowing what kind of pasta you're cooking like this, how it doesn't turn out gummy, and what sauces you use on pasta cooked this way?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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3 hours ago, weinoo said:

I'm interested in knowing what kind of pasta you're cooking like this, how it doesn't turn out gummy, and what sauces you use on pasta cooked this way?

 

It's a technique called "pasta risottata" (pasta cooked like risotto). You can use almost all formats, even paccheri if you move them frequently in the pan. You get better results if you boil the pasta for 3-4 minutes (as usual, just less time), then drain it and move to the pan with the cooking liquid. This is a mandatory step for long formats like spaghetti. The plus of this technique is that the pasta will absorb the liquid you use for cooking, and you need just that small amount. So you can cook pasta in a prawn bisque, in clam juice, so on. You can use flavored water, for example water + saffron, so the pasta will have a pronounced saffron taste.

You get the best results when starting with the exact amount of liquid it will take to reach the final texture, so it takes a bit of experience. If you start with too few then you can correct by adding more, but you risk uneven cooking. If you start with too much then or you overcook the pasta, or you need to drain it, loosing lots of flavor.

Cooking pasta in this way means that all the starches released in the liquid will remain in the pot, this will lead to a better mantecatura (don't know the English term, it means the sort of cream that surrounds the finished pasta), the difference is much more noticeable when you use olive oil instead of butter+parmesan.

If you like linguine allo scoglio, spaghetti with clams and similars, then this is the best way to go.

 

I like this technique a lot, but I use it rarely. For everyday cooking I go with the traditional method, which requires much less active time.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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9 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Seems to move as far away from two minute pasta as is possible.  

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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