You’ll Be Nuts for this Take on Pasta
It’s one of the yummiest carbs on the planet and pairs well with others: pasta. If you’ve been looking for ways to upgrade pasta night, here’s a slick technique that will change the flavor and heartbeat of your recipes.
Roast it. Toast it. Seriously, try this before cooking and you may never look at your package of pasta the same again. Food52’s Annie Crabill was skeptical at first but turned into a believer. The flavor of pasta transforms when it’s dry roasted in the oven, and according to Annie, gets a nice nutty punch.
We’re sharing Annie’s technique here and with this particular method, the pasta is roasted then reconstituted in water. To give it a go, follow the instructions below.
- 1 lb. of dry pasta (spaghetti, farfalle, or bucatini work nicely)
- 1 roasting pan or cookie sheet
- 1 plastic zip top bag, 1 gallon size
Heat Up the Oven
Preheat oven to 350°.
Arrange the Pasta
Spread pasta in an even layer on the baking sheet or roasting pan.
Place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the color changes to a golden brown. Check it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
Place cooled pasta into the plastic bag and add enough water to cover it. Squeeze out any excess air and seal it.
Refrigerate bagged pasta for 2 ½ hours.
Drain it and warm it up. Annie suggests pairing this with a no-cook sauce, or turning out a classic dish like cacio e pepe. Some people choose to boil the pasta rather than bag and refrigerate it immediately after toasting.
If you want to boil it after roasting, you can prep the water while the pasta is still in the oven. Allow the pasta to cool first before adding to the water. Annie notes that it will take longer to cook than dry pasta straight from the package, and expect to boil it until it’s al dente.
Aim for about 15 minutes of boiling time and check that’s it cooked through. The texture will be rubber-like (but not in a bad way). Another variation on this technique is to toast the pasta in a pan, on a stovetop. Dishes that include toasted vermicelli often involve drizzling olive oil and then adding stock or broth to the pan to finish cooking the dish.
Once you’ve cooked your pasta, it’s time to dress it up. Yeah, you could go with a basic red sauce, or you can make pesto, and sauté some veggies, mushrooms, sausage, or fresh herbs. You can never go wrong by tossing in some Parmesan either. Yum! Annie mentions that the texture of the pasta is perfect for soups, and the leftover boiled water can be used as a sauce base or thickener. Get creative with it!
What do think of toasty, roasted pasta? Have you ever tried roasting your pasta in the oven or on the stove? Which dishes are you excited to make with it? Share with us in the comments. And be sure to check out Food52’s post for more excellent suggestions and recipes!