January 28, 2003

No Boil Mac-N-Cheese

I wrote a while back about trying out the "no cook" pasta method on my standard macaroni and cheese. My first attempt was a half-cooking approach due to fear of the unknown. It was unfounded -- raw works fine.

Last night I made my standard macaroni and cheese, with just a tad more liquid than normal. Stirred raw pasta into it (boy did it look and feel weird!), and baked as normal (I put a cover on for the first 20 minutes, but think I could have gotten away without it). The pluses are one less pot, and one less step. The only downside is that you do need to make sure the pasta is pretty well covered in sauce. The result thus went together in under 15 minutes because there was no waiting for water to boil and no waiting for the first cook time. I think I'll refine the amounts and baking time next and do a final recipe posting on the subject (I'm sure I've already worn out my welcome on this topic anyway).

To figure the amounts, I'm going to do an experiment where I cook a batch of pasta and see how much water is absorbed through normal cooking. This should give a "how much extra water to have per pound of pasta" for any given recipe. My guess is maybe half a cup of water per pound.

Posted by dowdy at January 28, 2003 02:12 AM