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Old 04-03-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
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How to stop noodles from drying up?

I'm really inexperienced at cooking. I've been making penne pasta with melted mozzarella over it, a bunch lately. I melt the cheese by putting it under the oven broiler, until the cheese is brown. The noodles that aren't directly under the mozzarella slices always end up dry. How do I stop that from happening? I thought about adding water; but wouldn't that ruin the tomato sauce?

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Old 04-04-2009, 12:13 AM   #2
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I am not sure if I have had dry noodles before, but I can try and help you. If there is not enough sauce then I would immagine such a direct source of high heat is drying the noodles that are on the top. I would try and put more tomato sauce on the pasta so that it will stay moist in the oven. I would not thin out tomato sauce with water, because that is going to make it less concentrated and not add flavor, but make it less flavorful. I use chicken stock and or white wine to make more sauce then the original recipe yields. Of course my first choice is add more fresh tomatoes if I have them, or more canned tomatoes if I have them. Adding stock and or wine does make it less concentrated, but it is a much better choice than water because it adds flavor.

Maybe if you have a low or high setting on the broiler, turn it to low. I also might try not using the broiler. Just put it in the oven at 200 and that should melt the cheese in no time, without cooking the pasta too much.

I hope some of my suggestions help.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawr View Post
I'm really inexperienced at cooking. I've been making penne pasta with melted mozzarella over it, a bunch lately. I melt the cheese by putting it under the oven broiler, until the cheese is brown. The noodles that aren't directly under the mozzarella slices always end up dry. How do I stop that from happening? I thought about adding water; but wouldn't that ruin the tomato sauce?
How about adding a little more sauce and then sprinkling with a good parmesan cheese instead of the mozz..Then there is no need to use the broiler...
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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Urmaniac should come to your rescue! Where is she? I think to keep any pasta yummy and not dry, the answer is in the sauce. Mozzarella is not a great melting cheese, under the oven. Try gruyere. Alternatively make a sauce put mozzarella on top. The sauce will stop the pasta from drying and the mozzarella doesn't have to melt in between to do the work.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:04 PM   #5
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Make sure your noodles are all "hidden" in the sauce or very well coated with sauce. You still may get some crunchiness but in my book, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
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