Why You Should Always Have Short-Cut Angel Hair Pasta In Your Pantry

Reliable pantry staples, like rice, flour, and canned goods, may not be as exciting as a fresh burrata from the deli but it's these everyday ingredients that form the backbone of fast, filling, and nutritious meals. Next time you're restocking your pantry with core essentials, add short-cut angel hair pasta to your list; it's the perfect no-fuss, quick-cooked pasta with a super-long shelf life.

The first winning feature of short-cut angel hair pasta is that it cooks extremely quickly, even faster than spaghettini, capellini, or broken rice vermicelli noodles, because of its thin diameter and compact length. Simply add them to a pan of salted water at a rolling boil and you'll have al dente pasta in 3 to 5 minutes that's ready to be tossed into a hot skillet of herby, lemony clams, or a bubbling pan of chili flakes, parmesan, and anchovies. This uber-quick cook-time is a life-saver when you have a crowd of impatient, hungry bellies to feed because you can have a substantial meal on the table in under 15 minutes.

Secondly, the fine texture of angel hair means it absorbs the flavor of light, delicate sauces extremely well, unlike thicker varieties of pasta where the sauce doesn't quite make its way to the middle (these chunkier pasta shapes are better suited to heftier, meaty ragus). We advise opting for fresh, bright, and clean flavors, that complement, rather than overpower, the slender consistency of the petite noodles.

Use angel hair pasta in soups

As angel hair cooks so quickly and has a dainty texture, it's also perfect for tossing directly into simmering pots of soup, like minestrone or fagioli. It lends oodles of texture to soup without soaking up too much broth, unlike thicker noodles that can become bloated and mushy as they sit. Plus, the tiny length of short-cut angel hair (just a couple of inches) means it can fit snugly on a soup spoon, making it easier to cleanly slurp and enjoy. Indeed, short-cut angel hair also fits the bill for preschoolers who haven't quite got the motor skills to twirl long strands of spaghetti or linguine onto fiddly forks; the cooked strands are easy to load up onto a kid-friendly plastic spoon.

Bear in mind that some pasta brands market their packets of short-cut angel hair as "broken angel hair." If you can't find the short or broken versions simply stock up on the regular long variety that comes in a similar-shaped sleeve to spaghetti and snap the strands into smaller pieces. Then, you can toss them straight into soups or boil them separately to add to a pan of your favorite saucy ingredients.