Pasta, for many of us, is the miracle food. Boil, strain, add sauce, and just like that you have a delicious dish! It’s cheap, easy, and quick–the perfect food for everyone from starving students to busy professionals. It’s even moderately healthy, as long as you choose the right sauces. On the other hand, it’s so easy and cheap that some of us tend to eat it often enough for it to get a bit boring. If you’re starting to get tired of your dry pasta dishes, why not try using some “fresh” noodles? If you’re thinking that making noodles by hand sounds like a lot of work, well, we’re sure you’re probably right–but our colleagues at RocketNews24 Japan have a trick that will basically revert your dry pasta back to its “fresh pasta” state! To transform your dried pasta into fresh pasta, you only need to follow this one, simple trick: Soak your pasta in some water for an hour or more. So, when we heard about this, at first we were a bit skeptical. Surely dropping dry pasta into some water and letting it soak for 60 minutes isn’t enough to turn it into “fresh” pasta. If that were true, why wouldn’t everyone do it? Well, aside from the fact that it requires you to soak your pasta for an hour before cooking, it also isn’t exactly like fresh pasta. But first, here’s how you go about soaking the pasta. Obviously, you need enough water to completely submerge the noodles. Before we said it takes over an hour, but you’re looking for something specific: The pasta should eventually turn a white color.
Typically, dry pasta is a kind of yellowish color, but once the noodles have sucked up enough water, they’ll turn closer to white. You want the entire noodle to be full of water–all the way to the core. At this point, your pasta will be soft and flexible. It will also be a bit swollen, as you can see in the photos below. If the noodles don’t look like this, you’ll want to let them soak until they do. Now that you’ve got your soft, floppy noodles ready, you can drop them in some boiling water. We used nine-minute dry pasta for this experiment, but with our “fresh” noodles it took between one and two minutes to boil them. So this will clearly speed up the cooking process! Another interesting thing was that the fresh pasta turned half-transparent as soon as we dropped in the water. We also boiled some of the dry pasta, which obviously took nine minutes, for comparison. In the end, the finished dry pasta and the finished “fresh” pasta basically looked the same, which was kind of disappointing. But did they taste different? Actually, yes!
The water-soaked pasta ended up being much softer than the dry noodles. While it wasn’t exactly like truly fresh pasta, the noodles were much more pliant–like dry pasta that had been taken out at precisely the right moment. Another thing we noticed was that the “fresh” noodles smelled better. Soaking your noodles won’t produce results identical to real fresh pasta. We have a feeling nothing will, so if fresh pasta is important to you, you’ll still need to make it yourself. On the other hand, this method produces results halfway between regular dry pasta and what you might get from handmade noodles. So, is it worth it? Well, we’d say probably yes. For one thing, it nearly guarantees pasta feels “perfectly timed.” And it might help you save on your gas bill by drastically reducing cooking time, though we doubt you’ll notice much of a difference there. But if you’re looking for softer, more pliant noodles, just remember to soak your pasta for an hour! If you try it out, be sure let us know how it goes! Especially if you find a better way to “freshen-up” pasta noodles. ( By Preston Phro from www.rocketnews.jp © images RocketNews )