Spaghetti is one of the easiest pasta dishes to make. Even though it's quick to throw together, sometimes the extra 20-minutes to boil water and cook noodles is time you don't have. Solve the problem by preparing noodles a day in advance and reheat at your convenience.
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When paired with olive oil, lean protein and fresh vegetables instead of sodium-filled sauces, it makes for a healthy meal. Whole-wheat pasta is widely available in grocery stores and provides you with a bit more nutrition and fiber.
Things You'll Need
- Fill a large cooking pot with water. An entire box of spaghetti noodles will need 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.
- 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 affecting the taste.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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're stored overnight.
- 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 microwave.
Make-ahead spaghetti can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator.