First, put the pasta in a microwavable dish with water, oil and a little salt. The basic ratio of water to pasta is four parts water to one part pasta. Then wrap with a plastic wrap and poke some holes in it for the steam to escape. Cook on micro power high mode for about 11 -15 minutes, checking consistently until the right texture is achieved. The cooking time will depend on the amount of pasta and water you put in. Be careful not to overcook the pasta. The perfect pasta should be “aI dente”, meaning tender but still firm when you eat it.
The term “al dente” comes from Italian and means “to the tooth” or “to the bile”, referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness. The pasta should have a slight chewiness when biting into it, but should not be soft, overdone, or have a hard center. Using plenty of salt helps achieve the “al dente” texture.
Cooking Pasta For baked dishes
For baked dishes, pasta is usually cooked twice. First the pasta will be boiled then combined with other ingredients and finish cooking in the oven. Because of this, pasta in baked dishes should be boiled faster than other pasta dishes. Boil until just flexible but still quite firm. Cut a small piece to try. Once you are satisfied with the texture, quickly drain into a large colander and shake off excess water. There is no need to rinse the pasta in running water if you are tossing it immediately.
Reheating pasta in the microwave oven
- Place the leftover pasta in a microwave sate bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pricking some holes or leaving one corner open slightly to allow steam to escape.
- Reheat on micro power medium mode for approximately 1.5 minutes. The duration of the reheat depends on how much pasta you have.
- Once it is done, check to see if the pasta is warmed thoroughly. If not, return the pasta to the microwave oven and continue to cook in 15-second intervals, checking after each to see if it is heated through.