Cooking

How to Cook Pasta Ahead of Time

When you've got people coming over for dinner, this trick is a lifesaver
Pasta with Pistachios, Lemon and Broccoli
Photo: Tasting Table

If pasta is on your dinner party menu (and with recipes like almond, dill and sardine bucatini, and pasta with charred tomatoes, burrata and rosemary oil, it should be), take a cue from restaurant chefs and make it ahead of time. Bon Appétit just reminded us that we should all be doing this, and now you have one less thing to worry about before your next dinner party.

Here’s how it works:

① Cook your noodles to al dente.

② Remove the noodles and don’t forget to reserve some water for the sauce.

③ Toss the pasta in 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

④ Let it cool about 15 minutes and slide it into a plastic bag to store in the fridge.

⑤ When you’re ready to cook, reheat the noodles in salted water for just 30 seconds.

Bon Appétit’s senior food editor advises you can prep the noodles up to 48 hours in advance.

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Though preparing pasta ahead of time doesn’t sound like something you necessarily need to do for a quick weeknight dinner, the combination of shaving off boiling time and knowing that you’ve got pasta ready to go will make it easier to get dinner on the table—and dissuade you from opening your Seamless account instead.

What’s more, when you’re serving pasta at a dinner party—which is always the right move—this valuable time and stove space will go far.

Now that you’ve got that covered, try making the pasta for these dishes ahead of time:

• Spaghetti alla Gricia
• Pasta e Ceci
• Classic Bucatini Cacio e Pepe

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