OK, y’all. If you’re getting ready to serve pasta to a crowd of people, this is perhaps one of the most awesome tricks ever. I picked this up via YouTube on Jerry James Stone’s channel. Simply soak your spaghetti (or other pasta) for 90 minutes in cold water before cooking. After that, you just drop the fully hydrated pasta in boiling water.  And kaBAM. Your pasta is ready to serve.

Cacio e Pepe: Soaking the Pasta

Cacio e Pepe: Soaking the Pasta

Cacio e Pepe: Hydrated Pasta

Cacio e Pepe: Hydrated Pasta

When I make pasta in the breakroom, I like this method because I don’t have to stand around minding a pot. I just whip out my induction burner, heat up some water, drop in the pasta and I’m taking it all down again before you know it.

Cacio e Pepe: Getting Ready to Cook

Cacio e Pepe: Getting Ready to Cook

I’ve been kind of jonesing for pasta and happened across Baker by Nature’s One Pan Cacio e Pepe and an idea stuck. Why not combine Jerry James Stone’s 60 Second Pasta technique with Baker by Nature’s Cacio e Pepe for a quick lunch?

In ByN’s Cacio e Pepe, you boil a pound of pasta with 4-1/2 cups of water. After the pasta is cooked, you’re left with around 1/2 cup water. Without draining the water, you add the cheese to the water and pasta. Cook for a few seconds more and you’re all set. My thought was this. Boil only a small amount of water in the pot and toss the pasta in. After that, toss in the cheese, let it go for 30 seconds and I should be left with cacio e pepe ready for my bowl. And it worked. I decided to use the all the soaking water, figuring that the starch would help thicken any sauce that might develop.

Cacio e Pepe: Cooking the Pasta

Cacio e Pepe: Cooking the Pasta

Cacio e Pepe: Ready to Eat

Cacio e Pepe: Ready to Eat

The verdict? Reasonably good! If I were to do it over again, I’d use good Parmesan and cracked pepper. I’d also heat the whole mixture, cheese and all, at a lower heat so it would get a little creamier. But still… not a bad lunch!

Breakroom Cacio e Pepe
 
Cook time
Total time
 
You can make this with inexpensive ingredients or tart it up with the expensive stuff. Your call!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb dried pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place pasta in a pan with enough sold water to cover, plus a bit extra.
  2. Let pasta sit for 90 minutes to hydrate.
  3. Place a pan over medium heat and add soaking water from pasta, olive oil, salt & pepper to taste, and garlic. Bring to a boil and add pasta.
  4. Using tongs keep the pasta moving so it cooks evenly in the water. Add Parmesan cheese and keep moving with tongs so the cheese melts evenly.
  5. Remove from heat and serve. Top with pepper and a bit of cheese.

I might add this as a quick P.S. I ran out to Wendy’s to pick up a grilled chicken breast to add for some extra protein. It was such a sad and depressing piece of chicken that I just couldn’t do it. Look at the chicken breast on the left… and then compare it to the one on the right. [imagine a sad wah-wah-waaaaahhhhh sound byte here]

Sad Chicken

Sad Chicken