One recent morning, I decided it would be good to make some spaghetti before work so I would be able to bring some Cincinnati-style chili for lunch. Using my electric pressure cooker, I made some homemade Cincinnati-style chili (in the tradition of Skyline Chili), but we had eaten all the spaghetti. So, to make efficient use of my time, I thought I would try a trick from an old infomercial: Put the spaghetti in a tube, pour in boiling water and let it sit.
The product in question was the Pasta Express. It was a plastic-like tube into which dry spaghetti was placed. Next, boiling water is poured over it, and the tube is covered. In minutes (not sure how many), the spaghetti is cooked perfectly. See for yourself in the commercial below:
I didn’t have a Pasta Express tube, but I did have some half-length spaghetti, and I did have a quart soup container from my local Chinese restaurant. (The container was once the home of a quart of wonton soup.) I also have a kettle to boil water.
So, I decided to try out this cooking method. I would let the spaghetti cook while I took a shower. This way I would not have to supervise the cooking process, and I could take care of two birds with one stone. I poured in the boiling water and covered it. The “Spaghetti Express” sat on the counter while I got ready for work. It was a good trade-off, or so I thought.
Let me just say, the experiment did not turn out very well. The spaghetti was not fully cooked, and it was gummy. Perhaps, it is because my improvised Pasta Express did not have the proper thermal conductivity. At any rate, I did eat the spaghetti with my lunch, but it was not the best. Do not, I repeat, do not try this at home. Sometimes, things just do not turn out the way you envision they would. This was one of those times. Please, please, please, learn from my mistake.
Oh, and another thing …
This leads me to another spaghetti story. Wendi, my wife and founder of this blog, made some rigatoni and meat sauce the other night. She does not particularly like rigatoni, but it is my favorite pasta. So, when I was in the store, I decided to pick up some spaghetti for her. I noticed Barilla’s Pasta Pronto was on clearance. It, too, is half-length sized, but it is sold as a one-pot, no-drain solution to cooking spaghetti. You put the spaghetti in a skillet, cover it with three cups of cold water, turn the burner on high and set the time for 10 minutes. I can see why it was on clearance. The spaghetti stuck to the bottom of the pan (despite stirring occasionally), and because you don’t drain it, it is a little gummy. I made a video of the process. Check out my video, “Pasta Pronto a bit problematic,” below: