There is a great little pizza and pasta restaurant a few minutes drive from our house. I love this place when I’m in the mood for Italian food. They have the best brick oven baked pizza and a pasta bar with lots of different pastas and sauces.
When I went to get my pasta at the pasta bar, the server had all of the different pastas already cooked. When I ordered mine, he grabbed a big bunch of pre-cooked pasta with some tongs and dropped it into some boiling water for about a minute. This revived the pre-cooked, cold pasta and made it perfectly hot and fresh! He didn’t have to serve me a dried out, oiled pasta that had been sitting under a heat lamp! I had “fresh cooked” pasta, ready in one minute!
At one of our big, extended family dinners recently, I was planning to serve spaghetti with a delicious, homemade red sauce . I knew that I was going to need a large amount of cooked spaghetti noodles all at the same time! I thought back to the pre-cooked pasta at the pasta bar!
So, the night before, I pre-cooked the spaghetti noodles to the “al dente” stage. (I actually used 2 large pots on the stove at a time.)
Next, I drained the pasta and rinsed it under cold water. Then, I poured it into a big bowl and drizzled it with olive oil. After it was stirred to insure that all of the noodles were coated with oil, I knew it wasn’t going to stick together or turn into one huge ball of spaghetti.
I covered it and stuck it into the fridge until just before dinner time.
While the sauce was simmering away and the breadsticks were in rising, I put a big pot of water on the stove to boil. Then, when dinner time came around, I just popped the pre-cooked pasta into the boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, drained it and served it up.
It was PERFECT!
By the way, did you know you can also freeze cooked pasta? Just put the desired amount of cooked pasta into a zipper sealed bag and freeze it. At dinner time, just pop the frozen pasta into some boiling water and it will be hot, fresh and ready to eat in about 2-3 minutes. This is great for leftovers or if you like to prepare ahead for a really quick meal!