As much as we’d all love to, most of us don’t have the time or inspiration to whip up gourmet dishes every night of the week.
But we can always rest easy that we have good ol’ pasta for a reliable, quick and easy meal.
So here are some hacks to make those regular pasta dishes easier, tastier, and quicker:
Making sauce from scratch? Use a potato masher
According to most chefs, you should avoid puréeing the tomato with a food processor as it ruins the consistency and flavour. Instead, simply use the 3 basic ingredients – tomato, garlic, basil leaves (plus olive oil and salt & pepper of course) – and try lightly mashing the fresh tomatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher once they are softened.
Use one common ingredient to turn spaghetti into ramen
It sounds too good to be true, but by simply cooking the pasta with baking soda, you can fool your friends into thinking that you had the time to go and buy special ramen noodles. And all you needed was your run-of-the-mill spaghetti!
Check out the full recipe here.
Cook your pasta in 60 seconds
Yes that’s right. If you are rushing around doing many tasks at once, leave the pasta to soak in cold water for around 1-1.5 hours and continue with your day. Then, when you have time, just chuck it into boiling water for a minute and your pasta is good to go, al dente style!
Forget the rule about putting oil in the water
Unless you are eating the pasta plain, having oily pasta will stop the sauce from clinging to the pasta, leaving you with a bowl of less flavoursome pasta and sauce left at the end. Plus, if you cook the pasta correctly in the first place, it shouldn’t stick 🙂
Make a nifty meal in a mug
If you have a big enough mug and only 10 minutes to spare, your microwave can be a life saver. With a bit of milk and cheese added to the mix, you’ve got a hearty and delicious snack to give you the boost you need!
Example of good recipe here.
Sauté thinner pastas before boiling
Spaghetti and angel hair pasta are best for this; instead of popping it straight into the boiling water, you can first give it a quick fry in butter or olive oil, stopping the strands from becoming mushy and sticking together, as well as adding a tasty crispy edge. Throw in some cumin seeds or nuts to make the pasta absorb even more taste before it’s boiled!
p.s. This trick is also great for rice.
Use a meat (or large) fork to serve spaghetti
It is near impossible to transfer spaghetti from the pot to your plate without dripping water / dropping some strands / getting some of the strands stuck to the dish or table.
Until now! This video presents the dish beautifully, but the technique shown in itself can be used for a tidier bolognese night.
Replace pasta from any dish with healthy spaghetti squash
Amazingly, this pumpkin-like vegetable naturally shreds like thin spaghetti once cooked and has a bland taste that is similar to pasta.
For pasta addicts, this is a good way to avoid overloading on the Italian staple while still enjoying the things you love about it! Learn how to cook it here.
In fact, turn any vegetable into spaghetti
If you just can’t get enough of spaghetti, you can turn your salads into spaghetti, or add spaghetti-carved veggies to your meals. You can’t go wrong!
Get the product here.
Conserve pasta water and forego draining with this tool
This is just too handy: you can boil pasta along with other vegetables and ingredients, save the starchy water to add to sauce, and just pick out the pasta once it’s done. Boom.
Check it out here.
Create pasta bake muffins
Why snack on cake when you can have cake-shaped pasta bake? These little gems are easy to make, great for transporting and can be used on the side of other dishes or even as appetisers at a party or event.
Now you just need to get a muffin tray!
So whether you like to cook with penne, bowtie, or fusilli, it just goes to show that the possibilities are endless!
Tuck in, pasta lovers! What’s your best tip for cooking with pasta? Share it with us in the comments!