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These Hacks Will Change The Way You Cook Your Pasta

Let's do this.

Everyone LOVES pasta. IMO, it's the ~perfect~ food.

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But not a lot of people stray outside of the boil, strain, and sauce routine.

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With a few clever tricks, you can completely up your pasta game.

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Here are four ways to hack your pasta:

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1. Toast your pasta in the oven before boiling it to seriously up the flavor.

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It might sound crazy, but toasting your pasta in the oven adds an intense nutty flavor. Simply bake dried pasta in a 350° oven for 10-15 minutes until it gets brown and fragrant ― then boil and sauce it.

Note: Because this method dries out the pasta, it may need a slightly longer than usual boil time to fully cook. Taste to be sure!

2. Give spaghetti a ramen-like texture by adding a tablespoon of baking soda to the cooking water.

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Simply boil thin noodles such as spaghetti or angel hair in a gallon of water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. When they're done cooking, rinse them under cold water to remove the baking soda flavor. The end result will be similar to ramen — bouncy, bold yellow, and delightfully chewy.

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3. Make DIY instant mac and cheese in a microwave in less than 10 minutes.

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This method is fast, easy, and perfect for dorm life.

INSTANT MAC AND CHEESE

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

½ cup elbow pasta

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup cold water

½ cup whole milk

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine elbow pasta, salt, black pepper, and water in a microwave-safe mug and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir pasta and microwave for an additional 3 minutes. Add milk and cheese, stir, and microwave for 3 final minutes.

4. Cook your pasta like risotto for a noodle-based take on the classic.

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Cooking small pastas such as ditalini or orecchiette in place of arborio rice makes for a delicious, noodle-based take on the classic.

PASTA "RISOTTO"

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)

½ cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)

1 pound ditalini pasta

6 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

½ cup baby arugula, optional

Heat butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add ditalini pasta and one cup of vegetable stock. Continue adding stock, one cup at a time, stirring constantly, until pasta is cooked. Add grated parmesan, salt, and pepper and serve with additional grated parmesan and arugula.

Let's eat!

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