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Old 08-30-2006, 11:15 PM   #1
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Question Uncooked Pasta in the crock pot?

I just discovered this site and I'm sure I'll be checking back often for all sorts of advice.

Does anyone know if you can use uncooked pasta in a crock pot? I've been looking for a chili mac sort of recipe (even just sauce and pasta), but can't seem to find anything that calls for UNCOOKED pasta. Most recipes I find say to cook the pasta on the side. I'd like to use the denser pasta, like you'd use for mac n' cheese. I'd love to just throw everything in and go, but don't know how the water/sauce ratio, etc. Anyone conquered this yet?

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Old 08-30-2006, 11:17 PM   #2
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HI NKMOM! Welcome to the group!

Someone will come along and answer your question.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:55 PM   #3
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That might be difficult to get away with. Pasta is usually submerged in a liquid (water). Doing that in a slowcooker would screw up the liquid to solid ratio for a recipe.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:14 PM   #4
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Hi nkmom -
I found quite a few recipes on a google search that called for uncooked pasta, ranging from crockpot lasagna to a chicken one that used spaghetti.

If you're worried about not getting enough liquid, perhaps you can add extra tomato juice (if you're doing a tomato-based sauce, that is!)
Seems like it would work. Perhaps if someone doesn't have a tried and true recipe, you could try it out and let us know how it went?
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. Funny enough...today I was reading a Slow Cooker magazine and it answered that very question under the Do's & Don'ts section. DO NOT add uncooked pasta. It did got go into an explanation, but my guess is the very reason you gave.
Thanks again!
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkmom
I just discovered this site and I'm sure I'll be checking back often for all sorts of advice.

Does anyone know if you can use uncooked pasta in a crock pot? I've been looking for a chili mac sort of recipe (even just sauce and pasta), but can't seem to find anything that calls for UNCOOKED pasta. Most recipes I find say to cook the pasta on the side. I'd like to use the denser pasta, like you'd use for mac n' cheese. I'd love to just throw everything in and go, but don't know how the water/sauce ratio, etc. Anyone conquered this yet?
You can put uncooked pasta in the crockpot... but, the pasta that's worked for me is either thin spaghetti (broken in half or thirds) or very small elbow macaroni. Add the pasta to the pot about one hour before the end of cooking time. The pasta must be submerged in the sauce. Leave enough room in the pot, as the pasta will doubble in size. I've tried both pastas added to meatballs, again with plenty of sauce that's been cooking several hours. The hot (tomato) sauce will cook the pasta, and the texture is fine.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:42 PM   #7
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I think part of the problem is also that uncooked pasta exudes a lot of starch into the water when you boil it. Thus, if you put it uncooked into your crockpot, all that starch, instead of being dispensed into a large pot of boiling water, is instead dispensed into whatever sauce liquids are in the crockpot, thus making them thicker & less functional in hydrating & cooking the pasta.

I found this to be the case when experimenting with "no boil" lasagnas. Several people told me that it was easy to use regular lasagna noodles instead of the "special" no-boil noodles to make lasagna. So I tried both. Even adding extra sauce to the regular lasagna noodles didn't help their texture. The "no-boil" Barilla lasagna turned out fabulous, as usual; the regular noodles came out thick & starchy - even following recipes specifically for using regular noodles in a no-boil casserole. And then there's always the question of overcooking with smaller pasta sizes/shapes.

There are so so many wonderful recipes for crockpots, that when I have a taste for pasta, I bite the bullet & boil it separately, saving the crockpot for recipes that really benefit from long/slow cooking.
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