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I only started cooking for myself 2 years ago when I was 14 - one of the foods that I cook for myself every day as part of my gym diet is spaghetti, I weigh around 200g of it. I fill my largest/widest saucepan (medium size) up just under halfway with water then I wait for the water to boil - then when it boils I add a small handful of salt to the water. I don't add too much water because it dilutes the salty taste of the spaghetti when I eat it.

Then I add the spaghetti - when I was first starting out cooking spaghetti I just dropped it in there and left it for about 11 minutes before I served it - but the problem with it is that a large portion of the spaghetti takes 2-3 minutes to sink into the water so when I would eat it there was always a more uncooked part of it that was less satisfying to eat.

So recently I started forcing the spaghetti with some wooden spatula so that it would fit in the pan and then start the 12-minute timer on my phone once it was all in there - allowing some of it to break if that was what it took.

But now there's a few new problems that come with having uneven spaghetti:

  • some of the short spaghetti gets stuck in the pan when I pour the spaghetti in a colander
  • some of the spaghetti gets stuck in the colander or goes through its holes down the sink when I fork some of it out into a bowl
  • the spaghetti loses heat a lot faster in the colander whilst I'm eating the first bowl because its in smaller strands
  • i just prefer eating longer spaghetti

How do I manoeuvre the spaghetti into the pan without breaking it - would a certain piece of equipment help? Do I need to buy bendier spaghetti that doesn't break as easy - what is the name of this type of spaghetti?

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2 Answers 2

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I think your process is pretty close. Add more water to your pan. If necessary, add more salt. At the boil, drop in your spaghetti. I like to use tongs, but a spoon or fork will work. Gently stir and press down the softening bottom part of the spaghetti. It should only take a minute or so for you to submerge all of it. Give it a stir. Turn the heat down so it doesn't boil over. Keep an eye on it. It still may want to boil over. After a few minutes give it another stir, paying attention to any sticking. Stirring occasionally during cooking will help. You don't say what condiments you are using, but it is almost always better to cook for a minute or two less than the directions on the package, and finish the cooking in a pan with the condiments. I remove the cooked spaghetti from the water with tongs, and place it in the condiment pan. Then I have the starchy pasta water to use in my condiment so I ultimately get the right consistency of the completed dish.

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  • 100% best way to cook it.
    – Luciano
    Feb 14, 2023 at 14:44
  • I just get the water boiling and grasp the bundle of spaghetti very near to one end, and poke the other end into the boiling water. When it softens at the end, you have an L or J shape and you can gently feed the bundle as it softens and bends, taking care to avoid scalding. When what is left will fit in the pan, you can just let go. Feb 14, 2023 at 15:36
  • @MichaelHarvey The only problem is that you can end up with it all sticking together. It’s a good idea to separate it some as you drop it in. I usually then try to push it deeper into the pot after 30-40 seconds, then give it another stir a minute or so after it’s submerged, to try to keep the strands separated
    – Joe
    Feb 15, 2023 at 0:10
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It should not take that long for all the pasta to soften up to fit the pan.

Make sure you move the spaghetti as it cooks to not stick.

If you have a frying pan, maybe you can use it to cook your pasta in a shallow amount of water (see this Kenji's video : https://youtu.be/k1Np28NnP40?t=215 )

If all fails, there are tons of different pasta shapes that you can use instead of spaghetti.

For the other issues, make sure your colander has small enough holes if the pasta goes through. (In my experience, it's kinda rare that will happen).

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