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On my pasta package it says something like ready for double cooking and more curiously it gives cooking times of 11 min for regular (single cooking) and 5.5 / 2 min for first/second cooking when double cooking.

I had never heard of this double cooking before. In case it matters, this was on a large 5 kg package of pasta.

  • What is double cooking and why would I want to do it?

  • Is it something restaurants do?

  • Why is the total cooking time for double cooking (5.5+2=7.5 min) shorter than the regular cooking time (11 min)?

  • Is there anything special about this type of pasta or could any pasta be prepared like this?

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  1. It's par-cooking the pasta, cooling it down (typically an ice water bath), so that when a customer orders, they can significantly reduce the time needed to get the dish prepared for them.

  2. Yes

  3. Boiling the pasta does two things -- hydrate the pasta, and cook the starch. The hydrating continues while the pasta is resting. (you can also soak pasta ahead of time to reduce the cooking time ... and it dramatically improves gluten-free pastas).

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    Is there anything special about this type of pasta or could any pasta be double cooked? – user1583209 Jan 1 '17 at 12:05
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    Baked pasta dishes are not the same as double cooking then? – Todd Wilcox Jan 1 '17 at 15:28
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    @user1583209 : not that I'm aware of. I know there are pre-gelatinized pasta out there ('no bake lasagna' type stuff), which would have been par-boiled then dried. – Joe Jan 1 '17 at 22:55
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    @ToddWilcox : If you were to take it out just when it had softened, but not enough to be considered even 'al-dente', I guess it could be. But you'd have to bake it for a lot more than 2 minutes as the heat won't get into a casserole the same way. Also, you may need more liquid so the pasta can finish cooking. – Joe Jan 1 '17 at 22:58

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