Quick Cook Pasta

Why did it take so long for me to find a way to quickly and easily cook pasta?
I saw a segment on The Kitchen for making Lasagna Rollups where they laid lasagna noodles on a cookie sheet and poured boiling water over them and let them sit while they made the sauce. This made them pliable so they could put their cheese and spinach and stuff on them then roll them up, put them in a dish and cover with sauce. So the other day we took a trip to Galveston to kill time while the RV was being worked on. On our way back we stopped in Seabrook and got some shrimp, scallops and a slab of salmon. Froze everything except enough shrimp to make shrimp scampi. In an RV, your kitchen and living room are right there together. It’s not like you can escape to the living room to cool off in this Texas heat. If the kitchen is hot, the living room is hot. So I decided to surf the net and find out if there was a quicker way to make pasta without having to boil a big pot of water and heat up the kitchen. In my quest, I found two methods to accomplish that.

The method I tried takes a little prepping but then you only have to cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 60 seconds to have perfect al dente pasta. You basically put the spaghetti (or any pasta) in a Ziplock baggie and fill with cold water for 1-1/2 hours. Like I said, it take prepping but what the heck. I had plenty of time so I tried it. The cool thing about doing it this was is that you can see the starch from the pasta seeping into the water as it sits which keeps the pasta from sticking to each other. No more clumpy noodles and no oil required to keep them from sticking to each other and the starch water can still be used to thicken sauces if you want. Then you boil water, either on the stove or in the micro wave and once it’s boiling you put the spaghetti in the boiling water and cook for 60 seconds or so until they are al dente. For my microwave, I just added the pasta to the bowl and put it back into the microwave to cook for another minute or two. Apparently some of the restaurants do this so when someone orders pasta they cook it to order, one batch at a time. And it works on any type of pasta – spaghetti, macaroni, bow ties, alfredo noodles, etc. And even though you boil the noodles for 60 seconds, rather than using a pot of boiling water, I tried boiling a bowl of water in the microwave and that saved time and didn’t heat up the kitchen.

With the other method you still have to cook in boiling water but you don’t have to wait for a big pot of water to boil then wait for your pasta to cook which is an average of about 20 minutes at least. Instead you put the pasta in cold water in a frying pan and boil it. Less water boils faster and the noodles start getting soft before the water even starts to boil.

When time is not a factor, the soaking method will be my go to method of cooking pasta from now on. Perfect every time and we thought it actually tasted better.

See below for details on both ways.

60 Second Pasta

The best way to cook al dente pasta in 60 seconds.
Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Active Time1 minute
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: linguine, macaroni, pasta, spaghetti


  • Cooking pasta is about heat and hydration. We asked ourselves what would happen if we separated the two processes. Soaking the pasta was slightly counter-intuitive. What if it got to soft? What if it all stuck together? We decided that the only thing to do was try it and see what happened.
  • After an hour and a half in a bag with cold water the soaked linguine pasta became pliable, while remaining a bit stiff. The drained noodles held their shape and since the starch had not been activated, they did not stick to one another and could be held without the addition of oil.
    Cold soaked pasta
  • Once we added the noodles to boiling, salted water we had perfectly cooked al dente pasta in just 60 seconds.
    Cooked Pasta


And even though you boil the noodles for 60 seconds, rather than using a pot of boiling water, I tried boiling a bowl of water in the microwave and that saved time and didn’t heat up the kitchen.

Faster Pasta

When I’m short on time and need to squeeze in a meal, I typically make pasta. But recently, I’ve noticed that cooking pasta actually takes longer than I thought. I discovered this new way to cook pasta that cuts down on boiling time. Now, I can make and eat pasta in the time it normally takes me to cook it. The conventional way to make pasta is to cook it in a sauce pan, but the fastest way to cook pasta is to use a frying pan. I did both and timed it to prove this works.
Active Time15 minutes


Sauce Pan

  • It took 9 minutes and 15 seconds to boil a pot of water in a sauce pan. Once the water boiled, I added salt and pasta. The pasta took an additional 10 minutes and 33 seconds.
    Pan boiled
  • Total time: 19 minutes and 48 seconds

Frying Pan

  • Boiling water in a frying pan took a short 5 minutes and 24 seconds. I was honestly amazed at how quickly the water boiled. As with the other pot, I added salt and pasta. The pasta cooked a bit faster at 9 minutes and 28 seconds.
    Fry pan boiling
  • Total time: 14 minutes and 52 seconds


There you have it: The faster way to cook pasta is by using a frying pan, instead of a sauce pan, since water boils much faster in a frying pan.
Save yourself five minutes the next time you’re in a pinch.

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