The Best Way To Cool Pasta For Pasta Salad

Cooking pasta can be difficult to get right. From developing a perfectly paired sauce, to boiling the pasta, every step is an important part of the process. Fortunately, there are some useful tricks of the trade to get you through the most difficult parts. For instance, prepping the pasta itself seems fairly simple, but depending on how your pasta and sauces will be joined together, the boiling times may vary.

It's important to be mindful of how the pasta will be cooked and how it's going to be added to the other components of your dish. When preparing noodles before cooking, most people will just run the pasta under cold water or even shock it in an ice bath to halt the cooking process and to just generally cool it down (via Kitchn). While this method might work decently well, there's an even better technique that will result in deliciously tender noodles. 

The is the best way to cool down your pasta

Running your noodles under cold water does indeed have the desired effect, but this method can also lead to some less-than-creamy pasta dishes. Instead of this technique, try moving your cooked plain pasta onto a sheet tray and then letting it cool for about 30 minutes (via All Recipes). Next, place them in the refrigerator to cool even more. It's also important to lightly coat the pasta in oil before cooling on a tray to ensure that the pasta does not stick to itself and become an unwieldy mess.  

And of course, you must also remember to make sure the water is boiling before you put the pasta in, season the dish properly, and always save that pasta water. For cold pasta dishes it's also best to try and cook your pasta just past al dente to ensure that the pasta soaks up the dressing for your pasta salad. That way you'll have the most deliciously tender and flavorful noodles.