As I prepared to dump the macaroni into the water, Chef Husband stepped in to make a couple of adjustments to my system. First, he added a little oil to the water and then he told me to set two timers. The first was set for 11 minutes, and the second for 1 minute. He simply said, “Pasta 1-2-3”. My confusion, and curiosity, immediately wondered where this was going.
As the pasta was added to the rolling boil, both timers were started. When the 1 minute timer sounded, he instructed me to stir the pasta and loosen it from the bottom and sides of the pot, then to set the timer again for 2 minutes. Two minutes later, I was to stir the pasta again and then set the timer for 3 more minutes. Another 3 minutes went by and I was to stir the pasta again, followed by making sure the colander was ready in the sink. Once the 11 minute timer went off (which had been continuously keeping track of how long the pasta had been in the water), the pasta was ready to be pulled, just a bit al dente, then drained and rinsed (with cold water).
The point to this little exercise was to learn to keep reminding myself to stir the pasta, so it didn’t stick together or to the bottom of the pot. Stir at 1 minute, stir after another 2 minutes, stir again after 3 more minutes. Further, rinsing the pasta with cold water stopped the cooking process, sped up the cool-down time, all the while washing away any residual sticky starch on the pasta.
Seven pounds of mac later, because the pot had been stirred, none of it was lost to the bottom of the stock pot, nor was any of it stuck together in a gluey-gooey ball. Once the noodles were completely cooled, they were covered, chilled and stored in the refrigerator overnight, ready to be simply heated up with the marinara sauce before lunch service the next day.
Until next time…
Mrs. Chef (Christa)
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Using Baggies for Bowls