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Rainbow or Tricolor Pasta

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A couple of weeks ago I made a pasta salad for a potluck. It turned out really well, put a lot of different vegetables in, etc. The one disappointing thing was the pasta. I used one package of plain rotini and one package of tricolor elbow macaroni. When the tricolor was done cooking it was virtually all white. There was a trace of red/salmon in the red pasta, and if you looked closely at the green you could still barely make out flecks of green, but overall the effect was lost.

Was this because I used the store brand (the texture and flavor was ok) instead of a better quality pasta? One friend told me that tricolor "always" does that. I have trouble believing that because I've seen pasta with color before. This was Safeway's "simple living" or whatever they call it.

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  1. I generally use Barilla tri-color pasta. And while it does lose a bit of its brightness after cooking, the colors still look fine. I've had your problem happen with the less expensive generic brands before.

    1. Although I don't use tricolor pasta often, I have never had a problem with the color fading (a little, probably, but not very noticeable). I have never bought a generic or store brand, however, always a known brand. I would suspect that that is your culprit :(

      1. Thanks folks, that was kinda what I guessed. Time for a nasty-gram to the mfr and Safeway.

        1. Hmmm - my guess is the pasta overcooked and absorbed too much water during the cooking process thereby diluting the color.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ButterYum

            GASP! I am mortally offended that you would suggest that I overcooked my pasta. SLAP, I challenge you to a duel! Gas ranges at 30 paces!

            But seriously, the pasta was not overcooked. A dozen generations of ancestors would descend upon me and beat me senseless with pasta pots and colanders were I to use overcooked pasta. I've overcooked pasta before, and it goes immediately to the trash. But I'm sure you are right in concept, the color could have bleached out had I overcooked the pasta. I promise you, it was still aldente.

            And for those of you who didn't hear the sarcasm, my first couple of sentences were in jest.