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How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead

by |
author image Erica Roth
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.
How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead
How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead Photo Credit Stephanie Loaiza/Demand Media

Spaghetti is one of the easiest meals to make. Even though it’s one of the quicker meals to throw together, sometimes the extra 20-minute wait to boil water is time you simply don’t have the patience to endure. Solve the problem by preparing noodles a day or so in advance to reheat at your convenience. When paired with olive oil, lean protein and fresh veggies instead of sodium-filled sauces, spaghetti is more healthful than other fast meal options. Whole-wheat pasta is widely available in grocery stores and provides you with a bit more nutrition and fiber.

Step 1

How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead
Photo Credit Stephanie Loaiza/Demand Media

Fill a large cooking pot with water. Cook an entire box of spaghetti noodles with at least 5 quarts of water. The large volume of water helps the pasta shed some excess starch and prevents the strands from sticking together.

Step 2

How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead
Photo Credit Stephanie Loaiza/Demand Media

Bring the water to a rolling boil and add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of the spaghetti. You can use up to 2 tablespoons of salt per pound of pasta without negatively affecting the taste.

Step 3

How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead
Photo Credit Stephanie Loaiza/Demand Media

Add the spaghetti noodles to the pot. Fan out the spaghetti around the pot evenly so the strands will not clump together as they begin to soften. Break the dried spaghetti in half before adding the pasta to the water, if you prefer.

Step 4

How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead
Photo Credit Stephanie Loaiza/Demand Media

Cook the spaghetti for 7 to 8 minutes, until the noodles are "al dente," which means "to the tooth" in Italian. The pasta should be a little firm when you bite into it. Spaghetti that will be served immediately is usually cooked for 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 5

How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead
Photo Credit Stephanie Loaiza/Demand Media

Pour the cooked spaghetti into a colander to drain the water. Rinse the pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process. Mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking to one another as they are stored overnight.

Step 6

How to Cook Spaghetti Noodles a Day Ahead
Photo Credit Stephanie Loaiza/Demand Media

Place the cooked, cold spaghetti in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve the pasta, mix with sauce or vegetables and reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave. Make-ahead spaghetti can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator.

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