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Old 08-01-2007, 09:06 AM   #1
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Cooking Pasta in the microwave

Hey, Connie,

I looked in vain to find my notes on cooking pasta in the microwave. So I googled it and made a document on several processes. My interest was to save water. Sometimes I do not have a gallon of water to spare to boil pasta every time I want pasta. This may be more than you wanted , but it does give some good guidelines. I do remember my pasta came out entirely acceptable, not a gooey mess at all. I just drained off the water, added the pesto and ate it right out of the bowl I cooked it in...

There was a recipe on the first highlighted site and one of the recipes gave instructions for Cooking Orzo Pasta in the Microwave Oven. The directions were:

"Combine 1 c. orzo plus 1 can chicken broth in a 2 qt. microwave safe casserole. Cover tightly.. Micro. 100% power for 5 - 6 min. until mixture boils. Stir and then micro at 30% power 9 - 10 min. or until pasta is tender. Uncover and cool."

This would be handy to cook small amounts of pasta for a salad. It makes sense to me to get the mixture boiling and then reduce the power to a simmer to cook.

.

I bought one of the Rice/Pasta cookers from Wal-Mart and it works OK. The directions are a little vague on pasta, but I've settled on hot water/ 5 minutes on high, water only/ cook pasta the minimum according to the package. This has worked for Spaghetti, Fettuccine and shells.

Pasta is one of the great energy foods in the world and great quick meal can be knocked out in your microwave in no time at all. Cooking pasta in a microwave oven is extremely easy and with the versatility of pasta an enormous number of meals can be created. Here's five tasty and quick meals for all you students out there. All of these recipes are based on you using an 8000 watt microwave oven. You will have to adjust your cooking times according to your microwaves wattage. Remember when you cover food always use microwave safe wrap and that steam will build up and when you take the microwave wrap off this can scold, so be very careful.
1; This recipe will serve two people. Take some pasta shells [conchiglie] about a cup full per serving and put them into a microwave safe container, add a crushed clove of garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of basil. Cover this with a microwave safe plastic and microwave on full power for three minutes. Remove from your microwave and stir, if you think it may need some more liquid add two tablespoons of water, return to the microwave for three more minutes and cook on full power. Remove the microwave and stir. Leave this to stand for two minutes and serve. This is great recipe for vegetarians and has amazing flavours which everybody will enjoy.
2; Macaroni and Cheese;
Put a cup of macaroni in a microwave safe dish with two cups of hot water, two tablespoons of butter or margarine, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper, and two cups of milk.Cover with a microwave safe cover cook on full power for five minutes and remove and stir. Return to your microwave and cook for a further five minutes on half power. Add a third of a cp of flour and 10oz of any cheese you fancy. Cover and cook for a further twenty minutes on half power. Remove from your microwave stir well and leave to stand for at least two minutes before you serve.

3;Microwave tuna pasta and sweetcorn.
Place six strips of lasagne in bowl of water and leave to soak for an hour. Put half an onion, a teaspoon of oil, and quarter cup of flour in a microwave safe bowl and cook on full power for one minute add one and half cups of grated cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper, two cups of milk and cook for a further four minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir well. Drain the lasagne. Combine a tin of tuna, a tin of sweetcorn in a dish and the previously cooked onion and cheese mixture and then spread some of the mix over the base of a microwave dish. Put two strips of lasagne over this and then repeat the layers. Spread a quarter of a cup of parmesan cheese over the top, cover and cook for fifteen minutes on full power. Leave to stand for two minutes and serve.

4; Microwave egg noodle casserole;
This is a great winter warmer recipe. Take three cups of noodles and place in a microwave safe bowl. Add two cups of hot water, cover and cook on full power for three minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir cover and cook for a further two minutes, remove from the microwave and leave to stand. Check that the noodles are soft, if not, cook on full power for another thirty seconds. Add a half a cup full of chopped onions and a cup full of any mixed vegetables with a tin of mushroom soup along with two cups of any meat you like. Cover and microwave on full power for five minutes, remove from microwave and stir well adding in two cups of crushed potatoes and then cover and microwave for eleven minutes on three quarter power. Remove from you microwave and leave to stand for two minutes before serving.

5;Microwave Spaghetti Bolognese;
Take one pound of minced beef, half a cup of onion chopped and two crushed garlic cloves and crumble into a microwave bowl. Cover and cook on full power for three minutes. Remove from microwave and drain off the fat. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, two teaspoons of oregano, two teaspoons of tomato paste, a half a teaspoon of thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook on full power for further five minutes. Remove from microwave and leave to stand. Take spaghetti and put in a microwave bowl add two cups of hot water and cook for three minutes. Remove from microwave and stir microwave for a further three minutes and remove from microwave. Leave to stand for two minutes before serving this wonderful traditional dish
  • The process begins with boiling the water you need in a kettle - you should do this also when cooking pasta conventionally as the kettle is much more efficient at heating the water than the hob.
  • Warm a large microwave-safe vessel (like a pyrex bowl) with a small amount of the boiling water this helps the prepared boiling water to cook your pasta rather than warming the bowl up and taking longer. Swirl the water around the bowl (careful now) & then discard.
  • add a pinch of salt to the now empty warm bowl.
  • add your choice of dry pasta - spaghetti may need to be broken in to smaller pieces - I find breaking spaghetti in two is enough. If using spaghetti, drop it into the bowl bit by bit & either rotate the bowl or your hand so that it is not all parallel within the bowl.
  • now add the boiling water from the kettle - you may want to have set the kettle to re-boil in case the water has cooled.
  • get a fork and seperate the pasta - using a gentle stabbing/insising motion
  • place the bowl into the microwave and cook on high/100% for about 4-5 minutes (this is not an exact science - the power of the microwave is not crucal. The time is more important, but is a matter of personal choice - less time will give you a more "al dente" quality).
  • repeat the forking to seperate the pasta and re-microwave for another 4-5 minutes
  • ok, so the pasta's done - fetch the collander & drain.

It's possible to cook pasta in the microwave, but it's important not to cook too much at once. The pasta needs room to cook and expand, or it can become a sticky mess.

Basic pasta
Makes 4 servings
16 ounces pasta (or less, to suit your needs)
Water to cover
Salt to taste

Put pasta in a 2- or 3-quart microwave-safe container, breaking long pasta to fit if necessary. Cover with water by at least 1 inch. Add salt. Cover bowl, and microwave on high power for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Drain the pasta and use immediately.
If pasta must sit before using, toss it with a small amount of cooking oil or butter to prevent sticking. If you are making pasta salad, rinse pasta with cool water, then add vegetables and dressing.

Good Luck!

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Old 08-01-2007, 09:56 AM   #2
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Thank you Beth. I really appreciate the time you took to find this info for me.

I have plenty of water available here, but when I fill the pasta pot, I have to depend on someone else to lift it for me, so nuking the noodles will be a convenient alternative. I will also have one less pot to wash, and I'm all for that!
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