Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!
Pasta was invented by the Chinese as early as 5000 B.C. There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide, with the most popular being spaghetti.
Did You Know?
- In 18th century England, macaroni was a synonym for perfection and excellence. That's why, for example, the feather in Yankee Doodle's cap was called "macaroni." In fact, the word "macaroni" means "dearest darlings" in Italian.
- One cup cooked spaghetti provides about 200 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of total fat, no cholesterol and only one gram of sodium when cooked without salt.
- According to Miss Manners (a.k.a. Judith Martin), a fork is the only utensil that may be used to eat spaghetti while anyone is looking.
- Egg noodles contain egg; almost all other dry pasta shapes do not. By federal law, a noodle must contain 5.5 percent egg solids to be called a noodle. So without egg, a noodle really isn't a noodle.
- Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. It seems that he fell in love with a certain dish he sampled in Naples while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. In fact, he promptly ordered crates of "macaroni," along with a pasta-making machine, sent back to the United States.
Can't get your fill of Pasta Trivia? Visit the National Pasta Association's Pasta Facts!
Do I Need a Special Utensil to Cook Pasta in the Microwave?
No! You can use the recipes (see below) from Microwave Cooking for One without purchasing a special utensil to cook pasta in the microwave. There have been rave reviews for the Fasta Pasta The Microwave Cooker, and certainly if this makes it simpler for you to cook pasta in the microwave, and you cook pasta on a regular basis, then it is an item you might want to add to your cookware collection.
Fasta Pasta The Microwave Cooker — No waiting for a big pot of water to boil. Cook pasta to al dente perfection in the microwave! Saves time, energy and water. Use with spaghetti, fettuccini, macaroni, lasagna noodles, rotini and more. Will not boil over. Cooks evenly without sticking. Great for dormitory, motor home, boat or cabin. Dishwasher safe. FDA approved microwaveable material. Made in the USA.
Pasta in the Microwave
Since Mom was of Italian heritage, pasta was a regular weekly meal in our home when I was growing up. It seems to be a popular meal in many American homes, based upon the numerous emails I've received asking how to cook it in the microwave. It has reached the point where it is much simpler for me to provide this information for everybody, instead of answering requests individually, so here are the instructions for cooking pasta in the microwave from Microwave Cooking for One by Marie T Smith.
Method 1: Small Macaroni
To cook small macaroni (elbow, rotelle, ziti, etc.):
1 cup water
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. vegetable oil
Pour water into 1½-quart Corning Ware pot. Cook 2:30 minutes (_____) at 100% power until water boils. Add salt and oil to water and stir.
2 oz. macaroni
Spread out macaroni in pot. Cook 12 minutes (_____) at 50% power until water is absorbed. Place on plate, top with your favorite sauce, and serve. (See recipes for Pasta Sauce and Vegetarian Pasta Sauce in Microwave Cooking for One by Marie T Smith, or make a big batch of sauce and freeze it using Momma's Microwave Italian Spaghetti Sauce Recipe.)
Method 2: Long Macaroni
To cook long macaroni (linguine, spaghetti, vermicelli, etc.):
2 cups water
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. vegetable oil
Pour water into 1½-quart Corning Ware pot. Cook 5:00 minutes (_____) at 100% power until water boils. Add salt and oil to water and stir.
2 oz. macaroni
Place macaroni in pot. Ends will stick out of pot. Cook 1 minute (_____) at 100% power. The macaroni in the water will have softened. Push exposed ends down into pot. Cook 1 minute (_____) at 100% power. Stir macaroni with fork, making sure all of it is covered by water. Cook 6 minutes (_____) [8 minutes (_____) for spaghetti] at 50% power until macaroni is done. Drain macaroni in strainer. Place on plate, top with your favorite sauce, and serve. (See recipes for Pasta Sauce and Vegetarian Pasta Sauce in Microwave Cooking for One by Marie T Smith, or make a big batch of sauce and freeze it using Momma's Microwave Italian Spaghetti Sauce Recipe.)
Cooking times are for a 700-watt oven. For best results with this and any other microwave recipe, please be sure to go to Timing of the Microwaving Tips section for a complete explanation of timing in the microwave. (We also provide Conversion Charts to help you find the correct times for your oven!)