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pre-soaking pasta

In his recent article about Heat in the New York Times Harold McGee advocates pre-soaking dried pasta - much as you would dried beans - to shorten the cooking time. Has anyone ever done this? Not that pasta takes so long to cook but I'm curious. How would this affect the texture and or flavor? If you've tried this please tell how it worked!

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  1. Seems to me that presoaking for any amount of time at all is really not worth the hassel of shortening an already 6-10 minute cooking time. What do you save?

    1. sounds to jfood like the writer was under the weather and wrote an article from the comfort of his bed and had nothing else to write about. And how long will it take to fill and wash the extra pot. Jfood may place this on the list of silly things not to do in the kitchen.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        It was actually touted as an energy saver - for the planet, not the cook.

        1. re: lupaglupa

          Hmm, I wonder how much energy we'd save if everyone switched to angel hair.

          1. re: chowser

            But what a price to pay for the savings! I'd rather buy a carbon offset and have the pasta that suits the sauce.

          2. re: lupaglupa

            oh, goodness gracious -- energy savings!
            lol.

        2. I presoak lasagne noodles if I'm not boiling them. I think it makes a difference in texture. It was recommended by America's Test Kitchen. It's done in hot water for (I think but can't remember for sure) about 5 minutes.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. Soaking or boiling, the result is the same. Boiling is just faster. Try soaking a small amount of pasta, as chowser does. It takes longer, but eventually, it'll be reconstituted.

              AnnieG