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Old 12-13-2011, 10:42 AM   #21
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You can get a Chef's Basket at Bed Bath Beyond too. I bought one there and my daughter happily took it to a friend forever.
Yeah, somehow, I can't picture that being very effective with spaghetti
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:30 AM   #22
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I tend to use the 6qt pot for cooking pasta, though I only fill it about 2/3s full. I just pour out through a colander.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:46 AM   #23
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Didn't we have a discussion about this a while back? Seems to me I remember something about ATK testing this and concluding that less water was better. With less water there is more starch (relatively speaking) in the water and more starch stays on the pasta, making sauces stick to the pasta better.

I remember someone mentioning that professional pasta chefs use the same water over and over and get a cloudy, starchy water that is something one wants.
Sheesh, I'm glad it's not just me who remembers that information TL. I was starting to think I had dreamed it. I've never been concerned about using a large amount of water for pasta either, and a colander in the sink has always served me well. Why would I want a pot with an insert that has only one purpose if I don't really need it?
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:19 PM   #24
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More starch in the water helps EVERYTHING stick to the pasta, including itself. I usually put some of the starch-laden pasta water into whatever sauce I'm making and let it reduce down so that the starch is in the sauce. I prefer large amounts of water for boiling pasta, because I think it comes out better and less gummy. YMMV.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:33 PM   #25
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Try one of these:



Available at Sears and Sawbucks, Target, Bed Bugs & Beyond, and Amazon.com for around 25 bucks American
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:46 PM   #26
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Have you considered "Fasta Pasta"? Since you live alone, it looks ideal.
I believe it's Timothy here who loves his!

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Old 12-13-2011, 01:06 PM   #27
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Try one of these:



Available at Sears and Sawbucks, Target, Bed Bugs & Beyond, and Amazon.com for around 25 bucks American
I had a pot like that and it was hard to drain without the steam burning an arm. It also can't be used for anything that needs a tight lid because of all the holes.

I got rid of it and bought a colander.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:00 PM   #28
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When dh or the kids pour from that kind of pasta pot, they put on what I call a Hazmat suit !!!
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:36 PM   #29
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For larger amounts of pasta, just did a dinner for about 200 at our church, I used turkey flyers. We could do about 5 lbs of pasta at a time, and the burner gave us a lot more heat than a conventional stove top.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:55 PM   #30
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Have you considered "Fasta Pasta"? Since you live alone, it looks ideal.
I believe it's Timothy here who loves his!

Your belief is correct, Kayelle. The thing is as handy as can be!

It's a minor thing really, as cooking pasta is about as easy as it gets, but the Fasta Pasta gadget is one heck of a good idea. I use mine all the time! You can cook veggies in it also. It has a recipe for cake, but I haven't tried that yet.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:02 AM   #31
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In my opinion, those are way too small to cook pasta. Pasta needs lots of water so it doesn't end up a starchy, gummy mess.
i completely disagree. i used to think that about pasta, having to boil a pound in a giant pot of water, but dw proved me wrong. she often makes pasta in a tiny pot with just an extra inch or so of water over what you'd think it will swell to size.

so long as you buy good pasta, it only takes 5 to 7 minutes to cook, not enough time to become gummy.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:42 AM   #32
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OH pastagate, the quality of the pasta is paramount, you need more water for fresh h/m pasta.
I only make it for ravioli in my IMO its a waste of time for anything else
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:42 AM   #33
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You were right!

This is EXACTLY what I had envisioned!

All-Clad Stainless Steel Multipot with Mesh Inserts, 12-Qt. | Williams-Sonoma

One minor issue, though ......

Hmmmm..... I might look over there today and get one of these ...
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:08 AM   #34
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I had a pot like that and it was hard to drain without the steam burning an arm. It also can't be used for anything that needs a tight lid because of all the holes.

I got rid of it and bought a colander.
Just turn your hands in toward you, squat down, grip the handles with your fingers on top and thumbs underneath, and dump it AWAY from you into the sink.

This is one of those dreaded "single-use tools" that Alton Brown is always complaining about; a pot used only for cooking and draining macaroni. If you need a pot with a tight lid, buy a pressure cooker!
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:44 PM   #35
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The benefit of boiling pasta in a ton of water is that you reduce the risk of boiling over. If you don't have that issue then you can be just as successful boiling pasta in a small amount of water as you can in a lot of water.

I like using a spider (wire strainer on a handle) when I am doing small amounts of small pasta like macaroni. For long strands like spahgetti I like using tongs. For larger amounts I use the pot with the strainer insert.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #36
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a spider is a great idea, gb. we use a small, handheld strainer for smaller amounts of pasta, but there's always the risk of boiling water splashing or running up the handle. thanks.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:22 PM   #37
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I have a one handled strainer shaped like this and about 9" across that would also do the trick.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:53 PM   #38
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exactly, andy. that's the idea for small amounts of pasta, and there's no problem with fine pastas.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:51 PM   #39
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i completely disagree. i used to think that about pasta, having to boil a pound in a giant pot of water, but dw proved me wrong. she often makes pasta in a tiny pot with just an extra inch or so of water over what you'd think it will swell to size.

so long as you buy good pasta, it only takes 5 to 7 minutes to cook, not enough time to become gummy.

To me this depends on how much pasta you're boiling. For just my husband and me, I can (and often do) exactly this. You have to watch it more closely and stir more often and keep that high rolling boil going. And I agree, good brand. When my husband makes it from scratch (less and less often these days), I do not chance it and use the full amount of water to make sure it comes out perfectly.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:25 PM   #40
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I have not had a problem with spaghetti falling out of an insert like this.

I love these stainless steel pasta inserts. I even took a 20 qt stainless steel restaurant double boiler insert to a metal fabricator to put holes in it like the one in the photo.



I needed a really big one for the masses of garden vegetables I freeze.

I use all of my various sizes of pasta inserts with their respective pots to blanch loads of garden produce in the summer. When properly blanched I just put the pasta insert in a sink of ice water to stop the cooking process, then put the blancher on the sink drainboard before packing the veggies in freezer bags.

Pasta pots aren't single use items in MY household. They are multi-purpose and labor saving.
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